Eurosceptic or Anti-System? the Conditions for the Systemic Opposition to Europe

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Humanities LT G255 (University of Glasgow)
Michelangelo Vercesi , University of Pavia
Eugenio Salvati , University of Pavia
Euroscepticism is a contested concept. When it comes to use it for empirical investigations, one of the main pitfalls is what Giovanni Sartori has called conceptual stretching. According to the literature, Euroscepticism can refer to voters’ attitudes, elites’ orientations, party programmatic platforms. Moreover, the concept encompasses either general criticisms towards European institutions and policies or the European integration project per se. In this paper, we propose a narrower conceptualization of party Euroscepticism, by focusing on the anti-systemic features of political parties. We try to answer to the question: ‘why do anti-system parties emerge and gain votes in some European countries, whereas in others they do not?’ Based on our definition of anti-systemic, we build an ‘index of Euroscepticism.’ The viability of the index is tested through a configurational analysis of the necessary and sufficient conditions of the success of anti-system parties in different national contexts within the European Union.