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National Party Politics and Supranational Politics in the European Union: New Evidence from the European Parliament

  • Clifford J. Carrubba

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

  • Matthew Gabel

    (Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky)

  • Lacey Murrah

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

  • Ryan Clough

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

  • Elizabeth Montgomery

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

  • Rebecca Schambach


    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)

Registered author(s):

    Political parties play an important role in structuring political competition at different levels of governance in the European Union (EU). The political parties that contest national elections also participate in the EU legislative institutions, with the governing parties at the national level participating in the Council of Ministers and a broad range of national parties represented in the European Parliament (EP). Recent research indicates that national parties in the EP have formed ideological coalitions -- party groups -- that represent transnational political interests. These party groups appear to manage legislative behavior such that national interests -- which dominate the Council of Ministers -- are subjugated to ideological conflict. In this paper, we demonstrate that the roll-call vote evidence for the impact of party groups in the EP is misleading. Because party groups have incentives to select votes for roll call so as to hide or feature particular voting patterns, the true character of political conflict is never revealed in roll calls.

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    Paper provided by University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in its series Working Papers with number 2005-04.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2005-04
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