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Euroscepticism as a lever: Contesting European integration with ulterior motives

Usherwood, S (2014) Euroscepticism as a lever: Contesting European integration with ulterior motives In: Democratic constitutionalism in Europe, 2014-11-04 - 2014-11-06, Oslo.

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Abstract

Euroscepticism has always been a nebulous concept, expanding and stretching to accommodate a wide range of actors and actions. The ‘European crisis’ of recent years has offered new opportunities for such actors and actions to gain an ever more prominent profile in national and European public debates, effectively embedding themselves into the political system. At the same time, the notion of a ‘euroscepticism’ has become ever harder to hold. This paper argues that a central reason for this is the way in which political actors of various kinds have co-opted the language of scepticism to serve other purposes. Using examples from the UK, the paper suggests that very few actors oppose European integration in of itself, but instead they use it as a manifestation of some other issue. In so doing, there is an attempt to move beyond Taggart’s (1998) classic model, by conceptualising scepticism not simply as a tactical device employed by marginal political parties as a means of differentiation, but as an increasingly pervasive means of strengthening the frame for other policies. Since the primary focus of such actions is typically national, rather than European, the longer-term consequence is a potential hollowing-out of popular engagement and legitimacy with the EU, which poses a serious challenge for the future development of the organisation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Usherwood, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 6 November 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 Nov 2015 09:41
Last Modified : 17 Nov 2015 09:41
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/808607

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