Blaming Europe?: Responsibility Without Accountability in the European Union

Hardcover | March 13, 2014

bySara B. Hobolt, James Tilley

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A key component of democratic accountability is that citizens understand "who is to blame". Nonetheless, little is known about how citizens attribute responsibility in the European Union or how those perceptions of responsibility matter. This book presents the first comprehensive account ofhow citizens assign blame to the EU, how politicians and the media attempt to shift blame and finally, how it matters for electoral democracy. Based on rich and unique data sources, Blaming Europe? sheds light on all three aspects of responsibility in the EU. First, it shows that while institutional differences between countries shape citizen judgements of EU responsibility, those judgements are also highly determined by pre-existing attitudes towards the EU. Second, it demonstrates that neither politicians nor the media assign much blame to the EU.Third, it establishes that regardless of whether voters are capable of accurately assigning responsibility, they are not able to hold their EU representatives to account via the ballot box in European elections due to the lack of an identifiable "European government" to reward or punish. As aconsequence, when citizens hold the EU responsible for poor performance, but are unable to sanction an EU incumbent, they lose trust in the EU as a whole instead. In conclusion, it argues that this 'accountability deficit' has significant implications for the future of the European Union.

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A key component of democratic accountability is that citizens understand "who is to blame". Nonetheless, little is known about how citizens attribute responsibility in the European Union or how those perceptions of responsibility matter. This book presents the first comprehensive account ofhow citizens assign blame to the EU, how polit...

Sara Hobolt is Sutherland Chair in European Institutions at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she has held posts at the University of Oxford and the University of Michigan. She has published extensively on European Union politics, public opinion, and elections. Her book Europe i...

other books by Sara B. Hobolt

Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:March 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199665680

ISBN - 13:9780199665686

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Table of Contents

Part One: Blaming the European Union?1. Blaming Europe?2. Who is responsible?Part Two: Citizens and Blame3. When do citizens get it right?4. When do citizens get it wrong?Part Three: The Media, Politicians, and Blame5. Who do the media blame?6. Who do the media inform?7. Who do politicians blame?Part Four: The Consequences of Blame8. Does responsibility matter?9. Conclusion: Responsibility without accountabilityAppendixBibliography