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Opinion Polarization and Inter-Party Competition on Europe


  • Ian Down

    (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA,

  • Carole J. Wilson

    (Southern Methodist University, USA,


Rising Euroscepticism, increasing levels of public disagreement and growing divisions on Europe both within and between political parties are all indicators of the emergent potential for contestation on Europe. This article seeks to identify whether two important elements of contestation on Europe, namely inter-party competition and divisions in public opinion, are causally related, the direction of any such relationship and in which countries the relationship might exist. In doing so, we apply a recently developed method for analysing cross-sectional time-series data: panel Granger testing. We do, indeed, find a causal relationship between public opinion and inter-party competition, but only in some countries, not all, and we discuss the implications for political competition on Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Down & Carole J. Wilson, 2010. "Opinion Polarization and Inter-Party Competition on Europe," European Union Politics, , vol. 11(1), pages 61-87, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:11:y:2010:i:1:p:61-87

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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Sokolov, 2015. "ttitudinal Polarization Measurement Through (Ordered) Latent Class Analysis," HSE Working papers WP BRP 66/SOC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.


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