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Mapping EU attitudes: Conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU support


  • Hajo G. Boomgaarden

    (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

  • Andreas R. T. Schuck

    (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Matthijs Elenbaas

    (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Claes H. de Vreese

    (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


Public attitudes towards the European Union (EU) are at the heart of a growing body of research. The nature, structure and antecedents of these attitudes, however, are in need of conceptual and empirical refinement. With growing diversification of the policies of the Union, a one-dimensional approach to attitudes towards the EU may be insufficient. This study reviews existing approaches towards theorizing EU public opinion. Based on this inventory, originally collected public opinion survey data (n = 1394) indicate the presence of five dimensions of EU attitudes: performance, identity, affection, utilitarianism and strengthening. The study furthermore shows that different predictors of EU public opinion matter to differing extents when explaining these dimensions. In light of these findings, we suggest tightening the link, conceptually and empirically, between attitudinal dimensions and their antecedents.

Suggested Citation

  • Hajo G. Boomgaarden & Andreas R. T. Schuck & Matthijs Elenbaas & Claes H. de Vreese, 2011. "Mapping EU attitudes: Conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU support," European Union Politics, , vol. 12(2), pages 241-266, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:241-266

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:502-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Margarete Scherer, 2015. "The Religious Context in Explaining Public Support for the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 893-909, July.
    3. Beaudonnet, Laurie and Danilo Di Mauro, 2012. "Support for Europe: Assessing the complexity of individual attitudes," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 16, February.
    4. Caroline Mcevoy, 2016. "The Role of Political Efficacy on Public Opinion in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 1159-1174, September.
    5. Katjana Gattermann & Claes De Vreese & Wouter van der Brug, 2016. "Evaluations of the Spitzenkandidaten: The Role of Information and News Exposure in Citizens’ Preference Formation," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-54.
    6. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:6:p:1343-1359 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. John E. Jackson & Bogdan W. Mach & Jennifer L. Miller-Gonzalez, 2016. "Attitudes about EU expansion and zero-sum thinking," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(3), pages 481-505, July.
    8. Giancarlo Manzi & Sonia Stefanizzi & Pier Alda Ferrari, 2016. "In the end, will we all be Europeans? A two-phase analysis of citizens’ sentiment towards the EU," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2535-2551, November.
    9. Julie Hassing Nielsen, 2016. "Personality and Euroscepticism: The Impact of Personality on Attitudes Towards the EU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 1175-1198, September.
    10. Christopher Wratil, 2015. "Democratic Responsiveness in the European Union: the Case of the Council," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 94, European Institute, LSE.
    11. repec:spr:soinre:v:137:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1587-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jürgen Maier & Berthold Rittberger & Thorsten Faas, 2016. "Debating Europe: Effects of the “Eurovision Debate” on EU Attitudes of Young German Voters and the Moderating Role Played by Political Involvement," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(1), pages 55-68.
    13. Zlatko Å ram, 2016. "The Effects of Political Cynicism and National Siege Mentality on the Internalization of an Anti-European Sentiment," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 6(1), pages 22-31, January.
    14. Jan Kleinnijenhuis & Wouter van Atteveldt, 2016. "The Impact of the Explosion of EU News on Voter Choice in the 2014 EU Elections," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(1), pages 104-115.
    15. Bernd Schlipphak, 2015. "Measuring attitudes toward regional organizations outside Europe," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 351-375, September.
    16. Dimiter Toshkov & Elitsa Kortenska, 2015. "Does Immigration Undermine Public Support for Integration in the European Union?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 910-925, July.


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