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Giacomo Benedetto and Lucia Quaglia, "The Comparative Politics of Communist Euroscepticism in France, Italy and Spain," Party Politics, 13 (July 2007), 478-499.

First paragraph:
The study of Euroscepticism has gained currency in academic research, informing a rapidly expanding literature that has generally focused on the most recent period, even though Euroscepticism1 is a long-term phenomenon that dates back to the early stages of European integration in the late 1940s. The few empirical studies that have adopted a wider time frame for analysis have mostly been single country studies (Forster, 2003), rather than comparative political parties studies. So far, very few studies (Batory and Sitter, 2004; Marks and Wilson, 2000; Marks et al., 2002) have dealt with party families over a decade or so, concluding that ideology and cleavages are the main explanatory factors in determining the orientations of political parties and party families towards the European Union (EU).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Periodization of parties' positions towards 'Europe'
Table 2. Vote- and coalition-seeking behaviour of the PCF, PCI, PCE and their successors
Table 3. Communist share of popular vote and electoral turnout, since 1953

Fourth from Last Paragraph:
We can therefore conclude that our hypothesis is correct. Influenced by vote- and coalition-seeking considerations, West European Communist parties have modified their Euroscepticism at different speeds and at different times, despite starting from a position of hard Euroscepticism established by their status as anti-system parties supported by an external power. This finding is of note if we consider Communists to be a regimented party family, since the divergence between the three cases commenced well before 1989. International factors are important, although they affected the three parties differently. This study has shown that domestic and party-specific factors are of equal weight

last updated June 2007