Chapter

Patterns of regional diversity in political elites’ attitudes

Mladen Lazić, Miguel Jerez-Mir, Vladimir Vuletić and Rafael Vázquez-García

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/9780199602315.003.0007

Series: IntUne


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This chapter examines whether differences in attitudes toward the process of EU integration among members of political elites in various European countries are patterned and to what extent common regional, economic, political, and cultural characteristics of certain country groups influence these attitudes. Results show elites from Southern Europe to be the main proponents of further EU integration, while Eastern European elites are the most cautious. Variables with the strongest influence are economic development (measured by GDP per capita), the prevalent religious denomination (respondents from predominantly Protestant countries are less ready to support stronger EU integration than those from mostly Catholic countries), ethnic homogeneity (increasing level of homogeneity reduces elites’ orientation towards stronger EU integration), and the existence of separatist experience (elites from countries with recent independence by secession are less oriented toward EU integration than those from countries without secession problems).

Keywords: regional diversity; Western Europe; Southern Europe; Eastern Europe; economic development; economic differentiation; post-Soviet countries; stability of democracy; separatist experience; religious denomination; ethnic composition

Chapter.  8263 words. 

Subjects: European Union ; Comparative Politics

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