Europe in Question: Referendums on European Integration

Hardcover | June 28, 2009

bySara Binzer Hobolt

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Direct democracy has become an increasingly common feature of European politics with important implications for policy making in the European Union. The no-votes in referendums in France and the Netherlands put an end to the Constitutional Treaty, and the Irish electorate has caused anotherpolitical crisis in Europe by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. Europe in Question explains how voters decide in referendums on European integration. It presents a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding voting behaviour in referendums and a thorough comparative analysis of EU referendumsfrom 1972 to 2008. To examine why people vote the way they do, the role of political elites and the impact of the campaign dynamics, this books relies on a variety of sources including survey data, content analysis of media coverage, experimental studies, and elite interviews. The book illustratesthe importance of campaign dynamics and elite endorsements in shaping public opinion, electoral mobilization and vote choices. Referendums are often criticized for presenting citizens with choices that are too complex and thereby generating outcomes that have little or no connection with the ballotproposal. Importantly this book shows that voters are smarter than they are often given credit for. They may not be fully informed about European politics, but they do consider the issues at stake before they go to the ballot box and they make use of the information provided by parties and thecampaign environment. Direct democracy may not always produce the outcomes that are desired by politicians. But voters are far more competent than commonly perceived.

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Direct democracy has become an increasingly common feature of European politics with important implications for policy making in the European Union. The no-votes in referendums in France and the Netherlands put an end to the Constitutional Treaty, and the Irish electorate has caused anotherpolitical crisis in Europe by rejecting the Li...

Sara Binzer Hobolt is Lecturer in Comparative European Politics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. She has published widely on referendums, elections, public opinion, and European integration.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:June 28, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019954994X

ISBN - 13:9780199549948

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesPrefacePart One: The Theoretical Framework1. Introduction: Referendums in a European Context2. A Theory of Referendum BehaviourPart Two: A Comparative Study of Referendum Behaviour3. A Comparative Analysis of Voting Behaviour4. Campaign Effects in Referendums5. Framing Effects in Referendums: Experimental EvidencePart Three: Case Studies6. Voter Competence: What do Voters Need to Know?7. From No to Yes: The Danish and Irish Referendums on the Maastricht and Nice Treaties8. Campaign Dynamics in the Referendums on the European ConstitutionPart Four: Conclusions and Implications9. Lessons and Future ChallengesAppendix 1: List of data sourcesAppendix 2: Descriptive statisticsBibliographyIndex