Societal Education and the Education Bias in European Identity

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 134 (University of Glasgow)
Juan J Fernández , Social Sciences, University Carlos III of Madrid
Monika Eigmüller , Flensburg University
The education bias in pro-European sentiments is one of the most established findings in the survey-based literature on Europeanization. Multiple studies demonstrate that citizens with more formal education are more likely to hold a European identity and to support European integration. Building on this fact, recent work examines the contextual factors that increase or moderate this education bias. It has been argued that higher levels of economic inequality (Kuhn et al. 2014) and economic crises (Teney 2016) augment this bias. Instead, this study stresses the role of societal education, which is the general level of formal education of the population. We hypothesize that societal education moderates the individual-level bias in pro-European sentiments. Using a new database of European identity in 15 European countries between 1992 and 2015 and two step models, the analysis only supports our hypothesis. Societal education is negatively related to the effect of education on European identity. Furthermore, the impact of societal education on European identity is larger among citizens with lower than average education than among citizens with average or higher than average education.
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