From No to Yes: The Danish and Irish Referendums on the Maastricht and Nice Treaties

Sara Binzer Hobolt

in Europe in Question

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199549948
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720451 | DOI:
From No to Yes: The Danish and Irish Referendums on the Maastricht and Nice Treaties

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In this case study chapter, four critical referendums are examined in greater detail: the two Danish referendums on the Maastricht Treaty and the two Irish referendums on the Nice Treaty. In both cases, the initial no‐votes were overturned in a second vote. This chapter ask the question: why did some voters change their minds? These case studies trace the dynamics of elite behaviour and public opinion formation during the course of the campaigns. Through in‐depth analyses of newspapers, campaign material, opinion polls, and interviews with key actors in the campaign, this chapter gives a rich description of political behaviour in the campaigns leading up to the referendum votes. This chapter provides a detailed analysis of how differences in the political environment — and specifically the information disseminated by political elites — influenced the behaviour of citizens in these referendums on European integration.

Keywords: Denmark; campaign; Ireland; Maastricht Treaty; Nice Treaty; political parties; public opinion; ratification; referendum; voting behaviour

Chapter.  16557 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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