L'UE dans la compétition électorale en France, en Allemagne et au Royaume-Uni (1986-2009) : un enjeu consensuel, ‘propriétal’ ou positionnel ?
Title: L'UE dans la compétition électorale en France, en Allemagne et au Royaume-Uni (1986-2009) : un enjeu consensuel, ‘propriétal’ ou positionnel ?
Citation: Mathieu PETITHOMME (ed.), L’européanisation de la compétition politique nationale : Adaptations et résistances en perspective comparée, Grenoble, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 2011, Collection Europa, 73-96
This paper explores how European integration has been politicized by domestic political parties in France, Germany and the UK since 1986: how salient is European integration in domestic party competition? Is it politicized along one single conflict dimension? How far do EU-related issues structure party competition and with which impact on pre-existing conflict dimensions? We argue that the existing literature tends to ignore major developments of the party competition literature which results in misleadingly reducing the EU to one single political issue and in overestimating its conflictual character. These theoretical weaknesses go together with methodological shortcomings. We develop alternative hypotheses regarding the importance of issue salience, the multidimension character of EU-related issues and the impact of internal division of parties as well as of party system characteristics on the dynamics of politicization. Our mixed-methods analysis of party manifestos reveals considerable fluctuations in EU salience, impacted by major events of European integration, but also and mainly by party sytem endogeneous factors. European politics appear to cover a multitude of facets. Most of them are consensual within a given party system.
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