Chapter

Introduction: European integration as an elite project

Heinrich Best, György Lengyel and Luca Verzichelli

in The Europe of Elites

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602315
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738951 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602315.003.0001

Series: IntUne


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This chapter defines the volume’s key concepts and introduces the main research questions addressed in the following chapters. Following a review of literature dealing with the challenges of European integration, it focuses on the emergence of various forms of Euroscepticism, Europhobia, and Europhilia among different sectors of the national elites. The notion of Europeanness is introduced as a manifold and compound concept used to analyse differences among the national elites surveyed in this study. Three dimensions of Europeanness appear: emotive, cognitive, and projective. Finally, the chapter introduces the explicit empirical questions addressed by the various chapters: from the question of the career perspective in a supranational scenario, to the problems of European socialization of national representatives and economic stakeholders; from the question of the elite–masses gap to changes in the domestic political discourse of party elite. The methodological and theoretical approaches utilized in the different chapters are also discussed.

Keywords: Europeanness; European integration; Euroscepticism; Europhobia; Europhilia; elite–masses gap; Eurelitism; functional integration theory; multilevel governance; representative democracy; intergovernmental theory of integration; theory of permissive consensus; European identity; scope of governance

Chapter.  5660 words. 

Subjects: European Union ; Comparative Politics

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