Attitudes Towards European Integration at Times of Crisis: The Case of Greece

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Dimitris Tsarouhas , Department of International Relations, Bilkent University
Georgios Karyotis , Politics, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
The pace and legitimacy of the European Integration project has, to some extent, always been held at the hands of the public, with over 45 referendums held in the past five decades in Member States. However, the Eurozone crisis and the recent ‘Brexit’ vote in the United Kingdom have provided new impetus for exploring how attitudes towards the EU develop. Using Greece as a case study, this paper analyses the drivers of attitudes towards European integration, focussing on how crisis dynamics affect support for further unification. The paper draws on original and pertinent survey evidence collected between 2010 and 2015 through representative telephone surveys. The analysis synthesises insights from political behaviour, crisis management and the Europeanisation theory to test a range of relevant hypotheses. Findings demonstrate that public evaluations on the causes, severity, responsibility, and responses to the Greek debt crisis are key factors of support for the EU project, alongside trust and other political values associated with authoritarianism, multiculturalism and globalisation. The discussion explores these results and their theoretical and comparative implications.