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The Democracy Deficit and Mass Support for an EU-Wide Government

Robert Rohrschneider
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 463-475
DOI: 10.2307/3088389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088389
Page Count: 13
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The Democracy Deficit and Mass Support for an EU-Wide Government
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Abstract

This article suggests that the EU's representation deficit undermines mass support for Europe's political integration, especially when national institutions work well. Combining public opinion surveys from twelve West European publics with ratings of nations' institutional quality, we estimate a multi-level model. The results show that when citizens perceive that they are unrepresented, their support for the EU is reduced independent of economic perceptions; this reduction is especially strong in nations with well-functioning institutions. The study (1) suggests that transition and EU analyses converge on the import of regimes' democratic performance in shaping regime support; (2) proposes guidelines to model mass support for new institutions; (3) contains disquieting implications for Europe's political integration and its eastward enlargement.

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