Support for Integration: Élite or Mass‐Driven?

Bernhard Wessels

in Public Opinion and Internationalized Governance

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294764
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600005 | DOI:

Series: Beliefs in Government

 Support for Integration: Élite or Mass‐Driven?

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The general question addressed in this chapter is whether or not support for the European Community among the mass public is generated by elite action. More precisely, it asks whether opinion flow and opinion formation concerning the EC function according to the cascade model proposed by Deutsch. Its empirical findings provide evidence for a cascade model by showing that the development of support is more congruent between opinion leaders and the highly attentive publics than between opinion leaders and the less attentive strata of society. In the second stage of the analysis, the chapter employs a dynamic model to show that generating support for the EC follows the logic of the normal political process, with stages of articulation, aggregation, and output.

Keywords: cascade model; Deutsch; European Community; public opinion

Chapter.  8694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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