Skip to main content
×
Home

European voters in the face of crisis: the prominence of unemployment

  • Stefano Rombi (a1)
Abstract

From a political perspective, an economic crisis is an external shock which may deeply affect the functioning of a political system. Covering the European Parliament elections from 1999 to 2014, this article analyses how and to what extent the 2008 economic crisis affected the electoral patterns in EU member states. The analysis focusses on the electoral performance of both government parties and Eurosceptic parties, before and after the outbreak of the crisis. Resorting to the economic voting theory, it addresses two questions: first, if and why electoral losses of governing parties are greater during the crisis than before; and, second, if and why Eurosceptic parties have become more prominent after the onset of the crisis. Change of unemployment rate is shown as being the most important factor explaining these trends.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*E-mail: rombistefano@gmail.com
References
Hide All
Anderson C.J. (1998), ‘When in doubt, use proxies. Attitudes toward domestic politics and support for European integration’, Comparative Political Studies 31(5): 569601.
Anderson C.J. (2000), ‘Economic voting and political context: a comparative perspective’, Electoral Studies 19(2/3): 151170.
Anderson C.J. (2007), ‘The end of the economic voting? Contingency dilemmas and the limits of democratic accountability’, Annual Review of Political Science 10(1): 271296.
Anderson C.J. and Kaltenthaler K.C. (1996), ‘The dynamics of public opinion toward European integration, 1973–93’, European Journal of International Relations 2(2): 175199.
Armingeon K. and Guthmann K. (2014), ‘Democracy in crisis? The declining support for national democracy in European countries, 2007–2011’, European Journal of Political Research 53(3): 423442.
Baldini G. (ed.) (2005), Quale Europa? L’Unione Europea oltre la crisi, Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino.
Bartels L.M. (2014), ‘Ideology and retrospection in electoral responses to the great recession’, in N. Bermeo and L.M. Bartels (eds), Mass Politics in Tough Times: Opinions, Votes and Protest in the Great Recession, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 185223.
Bengtsson Â. (2004), ‘Economic voting: the effect of political context, volatility and turnout on voters’ assignment of responsibility’, European Journal of Political Research 43(5): 749767.
Berelson B.R., Lazarsfeld P.F. and McPhee W.N. (1954), Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Boomgaarden H.G., Schuck A.R.T., Elenbaas M. and de Vreese C.H. (2011), ‘Mapping EU attitudes: conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU support’, European Union Politics 12(2): 241266.
Canterbery E.R. (2011), The Global Great Recession, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
Chappell H.W. and Veiga L.G. (2000), ‘Economics and elections in Western Europe: 1960-1997’, Electoral Studies 19(2/3): 183197.
Conti N. and Memoli V. (2012), ‘The multi-faceted nature of party-based Euroscepticism’, Acta Politica 47(2): 91112.
Dassonneville R. and Lewis-Beck M.S. (2014), ‘Macroeconomics, economic crisis and electoral outcomes: a national European pool’, Acta Politica 49(4): 372394.
Diamond L. and Morlino L. (2004), ‘An overview’, Journal of Democracy 15(4): 2031.
Dominguez C. (2005), ‘Is it a honeymoon? An empirical investigation of the President’s first hundred days’, Congress and the Presidency: A Journal of Capital Studies 32(1): 6378.
Duch R.M. and Stevenson R.T. (2008), The Economic Vote. How Political and Economic Institutions Condition Election Results, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Easton D. (1965), A Systems Analysis of Political Life, New York: Wiley.
Fiorina M.P. (1981), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Fisher S.D. and Hobolt S.B. (2010), ‘Coalition governments and electoral accountability’, Electoral Studies 29(3): 358369.
Franklin M.N., van der Ejik C. and Marsh M. (1995), ‘Referendum outcomes and trust in government. Public support for Europe in the wake of Maastricht’, West European Politics 18(3): 101117.
Gualmini E. and Corbetta P. (2013), Il partito di Grillo, Bologna: Il Mulino.
Harmsen R. (2010), ‘Concluding comment: on understanding the relationship between populism and Euroscepticism’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society 11(3): 333341.
Healy A. and Malhotra N. (2013), ‘Retrospective voting reconsidered’, Annual Review of Political Science 16(1): 285306.
Henderson K. (2001), ‘Euroscepticism or Europhobia: opposition attitudes to the EU in the Slovak Republic’. SEI Working paper no. 50, Falmer, pp. 1–30.
Hix S. and Marsh M. (2007), ‘Punishment or protest? Understanding European Parliament elections’, The Journal of Politics 69(2): 495510.
Hooghe L. and Marks G. (2007), ‘Sources of Euroscepticism’, Acta Politica 42: 119127.
Kahler M. and Lake D.A. (2013), Politics in the New Hard Times. The Great Recession in Comparative Perspective, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Kayser M.A. and Peress M. (2012), ‘Benchmarking across borders: electoral accountability and the necessity of comparison’, American Political Science Review 106: 661684.
Key V.O. (1966), The Responsible Electorate. Rationality in Presidential Voting, 1936-1960, Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Kopecky P. and Mudde C. (2002), ‘The two sides of Euroscepticism. Party positions on European integration in East Central Europe’, European Union Politics 3(3): 297326.
Kousser T. (2004), ‘Retrospective voting and strategic behaviour in European Parliament elections’, Electoral Studies 23(1): 121.
Kramer G.H. (1971), ‘Short-term fluctuations in U.S. voting behavior, 1896-1964’, American Political Science Review 71(1): 131143.
Kriesi H. (2014), ‘The political consequences of the economic crisis in Europe: electoral punishment and popular protest’, in N. Bermeo and L.M. Bartels (eds) Mass Politics in Tough Times: Opinions, Votes and Protest in the Great Recession, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 297333.
Lees C. (2002), ‘Dark matter: institutional constraints and the failure of party-based Euroscepticism in Germany’, Political Studies 50(3): 244267.
Lewis-Beck M.S. and Stegmaier M. (2000), ‘Economic determinants of electoral outcomes’, Annual Review of Political Science 3(1): 183219.
Lewis-Beck M.S. and Stegmaier M. (2007), ‘Economic models of voting’, in R.J. Dalton and H.-D. Klingemann (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 518537.
Linden R.H. and Pohlman L.M. (2003), ‘Now you see it, now you don’t: anti-EU politics in Central and Southeast Europe’, European Integration 25(4): 311334.
Nadeau R., Lewis-Beck M.S. and Bélanger É. (2013), ‘Economics and elections revisited’, Comparative Political Studies 46(5): 551573.
Nishizawa Y. (2009), ‘Do institutions affect the way voters evaluate incumbents?’, in H.-D. Klingemann (ed.), The Comparative Studies of Electoral Systems, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 193219.
Pisati M. (2003), L’analisi dei dati. Tecniche Quantitative per le Scienze Sociali, Bologna: Il Mulino.
Powell G.B. and Whitten G.D. (1993), ‘A cross-national analysis of economic voting: taking account of the political context’, American Journal of Political Science 37(2): 391414.
Reif K. and Schmitt H. (1980), ‘Nine second-order national elections. A conceptual framework for the analysis of European election results’, European Journal of Political Research 8(1): 344.
Robinson W.S. (1950), ‘Ecological correlation and the behavior of individuals’, American Sociological Review 15(3): 351357.
Ruzza C. (2009), ‘Populism and Euroscepticism. Towards uncivil society?’, Policy and Society 28: 8798.
Singer M. (2011), ‘Who says “it’s the economy”? Cross-national and cross-individual variation in the salience of economic performance’, Comparative Political Studies 44(3): 284312.
Szczerbiak A. and Taggart P. (2003), ‘Theorising party-based Euroscepticism. Problems of definition, measurement and causality’. Working paper no. 12, European Parties Elections and Referenda Network, Falmer.
Taggart P. (1998), ‘A touchstone of dissent: Euroscepticism in contemporary Western European party systems’, European Journal of Political Research 33(3): 363388.
Taggart P. and Szczerbiak A. (2004), ‘Contemporary Euroscepticism in the party systems of the EU candidate states of Central and Eastern Europe’, European Journal of Political Research 43(1): 127.
Taggart P. and Szczerbiak A. (2013), ‘Coming in from the cold? Euroscepticism, government participation and party positions on Europe’, Journal of Common Market Studies 51(1): 1737.
Treib O. (2014), ‘The voter says no, but nobody listens. Causes and consequences of the Eurosceptic vote in the 2014 European elections’, Journal of European Public Policy 21(10): 15411554.
Tucker J.A., Pacek A.C. and Berinsky A.J. (2002), ‘Transitional winners and losers: attitudes toward EU membership in post-communist countries’, American Journal of Political Science 46(3): 557571.
van der Eijk C., Franklin M.N., Demant F. and van der Brug W. (2007), ‘The endogenous economy: “real” economic conditions, subjective economic evaluations and government support’, Acta Politica 42(1): 122.
Wessels B. (2007), ‘Discontent and European identity: three types of Euroscepticism’, Acta Politica 42(2/3): 287306.
Wlezien C., Franklin M.N. and Twiggs D. (1997), ‘Economic perceptions and vote choice. Disentangling the endogeneity’, Political Behavior 19(1): 717.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Italian Political Science Review / Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica
  • ISSN: 0048-8402
  • EISSN: 2057-4908
  • URL: /core/journals/italian-political-science-review-rivista-italiana-di-scienza-politica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Rombi Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 44 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 292 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.