EU politics

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Simpson, Kathryn and Matthew Loveless. 2016. “Another Chance?: Concerns about Inequality and Support for both the European Union and Further Integration” Journal of European Public Policy DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2016.1170872

Abstract: Following the 2007-8 financial crisis, it was expected that the economic downturn and the widening of economic disparities would produce lower support for the European Union (EU) and its continued integration. Using the 2009 European Election Study data in 27 EU member states, we find that citizens who see greater economic instability and insecurity – regardless of their current economic status – lower their support for the EU as it is but increase their support for continuing integration. Substantively, this suggests that EU citizens may offer the EU another chance to tackle this timely issue and counterbalance market-generated inequality.

Rohrschneider, Robert and Matthew Loveless. 2010. “Macro-Salience: How Economic and Political Contexts Mediate Popular Evaluations of the Democracy Deficit in the European Union” Journal of Politics 72(4):1029-45.

Abstract: Under what conditions do European publics use economic versus political criteria when evaluating the democratic capacity of the European Union (EU)? Previous analyses of context effects do not explain how citizens evaluate conflicting information arising from national contexts. We argue that a nation’s affluence and governance quality establish the salience of issues and thereby influences the criteria that citizens use when evaluating an attitude object. When applied to the EU, the model predicts that citizens in less affluent nations evaluate the EU mainly on the basis of economic prospects. In more affluent nations, however, the model predicts that publics chiefly rely on political criteria to evaluate the EU’s democracy deficit. The results strongly support our argument, pointing to the changed character of the EU since 2004. Theoretically, the macro-salience model suggests ways in which the influence of conflicting national contexts on mass attitudes may be modeled.

Loveless, Matthew. 2010. “Agreeing in Principle: Perceptions of Social Inequality and Support for the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe” Journal of Common Market Studies 48(4): 1085-1108.

Abstract: Using new mass surveys in central and eastern Europe, this article tests utilitarianism and economic values as the bases of support for the European Union. Advancing our understanding, the empirical findings point to increasingly nuanced economic criteria as the perception of social inequality strongly and independently influences EU support.

Loveless, Matthew and Robert Rohrschneider, 2008. “Public Perceptions of the EU as a System of Governance”, Living Reviews in European Governance 3(1).

Abstract:  Since its inception, the European Union has stimulated many vigorous debates. This Living Review provides a state of the field perspective on the academic work that has been done to address the question of the perceptions of the European Union as a system of governance. It takes a broad scope in assessing the efforts of scholars and highlights significant theoretical and empirical contributions as well as identifying potential avenues for research. In order to understand perceptions of the EU, scholars have employed national-level frameworks of popular support, particularly partisanship and instrumental self-interest. As the number of members has increased, further research has taken a broader scope to include national identity, institutions, and attitudes regarding the normative and empirical function of both national and EU institutions. Additional works address political intermediaries such as parties, media, and elites. Finally, all of the works are fundamentally concerned with the supportive popular sentiment that underpins the EU’s legitimacy as a political institution. While there are far more works that can be practically included in this Living Review, we have attempted to construct an overview based on the dimensions that define this research as set out by significant contributions at the core of this literature.

Whitefield, S., M. A. Vachudova, M. Steenbergen, R. Rohrschneider, G. Marks, M. Loveless, and L. Hooghe. 2006. “Do Expert Surveys Produce Consistent Estimates of Party Stances on European Integration? Comparing Expert Surveys in the Difficult Case of Central and Eastern Europe” Electoral Studies 26(1):50-61.

Abstract: Expert surveys have been subject to a number of criticisms concerning their ability to produce accurate estimates of party positions. Such criticisms have particular prima facie credibility in new post-Communist democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, where party development is regarded as weak. This paper compares data from two expert surveys independently conducted between 2002 and 2004. We find, contrary to expectations, that there is a remarkable overlap in positions assigned to parties. This suggests the usefulness of expert surveys even in the ‘most difficult’ case of post-Communist party systems. It also suggests that parties in these countries have developed effective means of communicating their positions on major issues

Book Chapters

Loveless, Matthew. 2012. “Civic Resources for European Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe” in V. Kaina and I. P. Karolewski (eds.) Europe’s Blues and Europe’s Future: Civic Resources for a European Union in Trouble. Routledge. pp. 105-124.

Rohrschneider, Robert and Matthew Loveless. 2007 “The Democracy Deficit and the Enlarged European Union” in M. Marsh, S. Mikhaylov and H. Schmitt (eds.) European Elections after Eastern Enlargement: Preliminary Results from the European Election Study 2004. The CONNEX Report Series No 1. Mannheim: Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), pp. 527-559.   

Loveless, Matthew and Robert Rohrschneider. 2006. “Attitudes toward European Integration and NATO in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Ukraine” in Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Post -Communist Europe. R. Rohrschneider and S. Whitefield (eds.). Palgrave. pp. 203-216.

Access to downloadable publications: Researchgate