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Internationalized at work and localistic at home: The ‘split’ Europeanization behind Brexit


  • Riccardo Crescenzi
  • Marco Di Cataldo
  • Alessandra Faggian


This paper looks at the results of the referendum on the United Kingdom membership to the European Union in order to test the link between the internationalization of the local economy and the openness of the local society as factors associated with the Leave vote (Brexit). The paper compares a number of alternative explanations put forward in the public debate after the referendum. The empirical analysis suggests that the outcome of the referendum can be linked to an increasing tension between the ever increasing internationalization of local firms and the ‘localistic’ attitude of their employees. Brexit can be seen as the result of a process of ‘split Europeanization’ whereby Euroscepticism is triggered by the increasing mismatch between internationalized economies (and corporate economic interests) and localistic societies (and workers’ attitudes and cultural preferences). Este artículo analiza los resultados del referéndum sobre la membresía del Reino Unido a la Unión Europea con el fin de poner a prueba el vínculo entre la internacionalización de la economía local y la apertura de la sociedad local como factores asociados con el voto a favor de Salir (Brexit). El artículo compara varias explicaciones alternativas presentadas en el debate público después del referéndum. El análisis empírico sugiere que el resultado del referéndum puede vincularse con una tensión creciente entre la internacionalización cada vez mayor de las empresas locales y la actitud ‘localista’ de sus empleados. Brexit se puede entender como el resultado de un proceso de ‘europeización dividida’ mediante el cual el euroescepticismo se desencadena a causa del creciente desajuste entre las economías internacionalizadas (con intereses económicos corporativos) y las sociedades localistas (con actitudes y preferencias culturales de los trabajadores). 本稿では、イギリスの欧州連合離脱の是非を問う国民投票の結果を検討し、地方経済の国際化と地方社会の開放性の関連が、離脱票[ブレグジッド(Brexit:イギリスのEU離脱)]につながる要因であったか否かを検証する。ここでは国民投票後の公開討論で提示された、投票結果に関する多数の仮説を比較する。実証分析から、国民投票の結果は、国際化傾向を続ける地方企業と「地方主義的志向(localistic attitude)」のその企業の従業員との緊張状態の悪化が関連していることが示唆される。国際化した経済(および企業の経済的利益)と地方主義的社会(および労働者の志向と文化的嗜好)のミスマッチの拡大により起きた欧州懐疑主義の観点からみると、ブレグジッドはヨーロッパ統合の分断のプロセスで起きた結果であるととらえることができる。

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Crescenzi & Marco Di Cataldo & Alessandra Faggian, 2018. "Internationalized at work and localistic at home: The ‘split’ Europeanization behind Brexit," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(1), pages 117-132, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:presci:v:97:y:2018:i:1:p:117-132

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sascha O Becker & Thiemo Fetzer & Dennis Novy, 2017. "Who voted for Brexit? A comprehensive district-level analysis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 601-650.
    2. Jan Fidrmuc & Martin Hulényi & Cigdem Börke Tunali, 2016. "Money Can't Buy EU Love: European Funds and the Brexit Referendum," CESifo Working Paper Series 6107, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i::p:19-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Italo Colantone & Piero Stanig, 2016. "Global Competition and Brexit," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1644, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. Martin Ruef, 2002. "Strong ties, weak ties and islands: structural and cultural predictors of organizational innovation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 427-449, June.
    6. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:5:p:786-799 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Silvio Traverso, 2019. "Globalization, robotization and electoral outcomes: Evidence from spatial regressions for Italy," DEM Working Papers 2019/5, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Julia Bachtrögler & Harald Oberhofer, 2018. "Euroscepticism and EU Cohesion Policy: The Impact of Micro-Level Policy Effectiveness on Voting Behavior," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp273, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:spr:epolit:v:36:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s40888-019-00143-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:taf:recgxx:v:94:y:2018:i:5:p:485-513 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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