Swaying citizen support for EU membership: Evidence from a survey experiment of German voters

Yordanova, Nikoleta ; Angelova, Mariyana ; Lehrer, Roni ; Osnabrügge, Moritz ; Renes, Sander

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116520923735
URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/58664
Additional URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1465...
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-586640
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: European Union Politics : EUP
Volume: 21
Issue number: 3
Page range: 429-450
Place of publication: London
Publishing house: Sage
ISSN: 1465-1165 , 1741-2757
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > SFB 884
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 320 Political science
Abstract: The United Kingdom’s 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU) raised concerns that other countries would follow suit. This article examines how arguments about EU membership related to economic, cultural, political, and security and peace issues could influence how citizens would vote in EU membership referendums. Our two-wave survey experiment on a random sample of the German population and difference-in-differences analysis revealed that only fears of being outvoted in EU decision-making swayed German voters’ attitudes about EU membership, particularly voters with weaker EU support, little EU knowledge and low levels of political engagement. We therefore conclude that concerns about sovereignty loss can be drivers of Euroscepticism even in a country that has vast influence over EU decisions.

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