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The impact of identity and economic cues on citizens’ EU support: An experimental study on the effects of party communication in the run-up to the 2009 European Parliament elections

Author

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  • Michaela Maier

    ()

  • Silke Adam
  • Jürgen Maier

Abstract

In this article we seek to understand whether national parties have an impact on citizens’ EU support by publicly cueing Europe as a risk to or as an opportunity for the economy or identity. In order to answer this question, we have conducted a cross-country survey experiment (covering Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) relying on real-world stimuli from party campaign communication in the run-up to the 2009 European Parliament elections. By introducing this new methodology to cueing research we show substantial evidence for cueing effects even when thoroughly controlling for nuisance variables drawn from EU research as well as country contexts. We find support for the general cueing hypothesis in experimental groups that were exposed to negative economic messages while in two other groups partisanship works as a relevant moderator of the effects of persuasive messages. These findings are explained by distinguishing between consensual and conflicting issues and show in what circumstances campaign messages might reach beyond the particular partisan base.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Maier & Silke Adam & Jürgen Maier, 2012. "The impact of identity and economic cues on citizens’ EU support: An experimental study on the effects of party communication in the run-up to the 2009 European Parliament elections," European Union Politics, , vol. 13(4), pages 580-603, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:580-603
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