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Catherine E. De Vries and Erica E. Edwards, "Taking Europe to Its Extremes: Extremist Parties and Public Euroscepticism," Party Politics, 15 (January, 2009). 5-28.

First paragraph:
Over the past decade, the process of European integration has witnessed a dual trend: a downward spiral in public support for the integration project and a concomitant increase in opportunities for the public to express these concerns. We need only look at the recent popular rejections of the Constitutional Treaty in France and The Netherlands to see the powerful role that public opinion can play in constraining the integration process. Moreover, most European Union (EU) member states - and especially the six founding members - have recently witnessed a significant drop in public support for European unification (De Vries and Van Kersbergen, 2007). Eichenberg and Dalton (2007) refer to this decline in popular support as the 'Post-Maastricht Blues', since the downturn occurred after the finalizing of the Maastricht Treaty in December 1991. All in all, the 'permissive consensus' characterizing EU politics in the 1970s and 1980s seems to have given way to what some scholars suggest is a 'constraining dissensus' (Hooghe and Marks, forthcoming 2009).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Eurosceptic right-wing parties
Table 2. Eurosceptic left-wing parties
Table 3. Variable description
Table 4. ANOVA
Table 5. Determinants of Euroscepticism (multi-level analysis)
Figure 1. Cueing effect of right-wing Eurosceptic parties on national identity
Figure 2. Cueing effect of left-wing Eurosceptic parties on economic anxiety
Appendix: Model Specification

Last Paragraph:
In stressing the role of national political contexts in influencing public opinion towards European integration, our article offers an important contribution to the literature. Thus far, the EU support discussion has been dominated by two perspectives: the utilitarian approach emphasizes that citizens are more likely to support the EU if it results in a net benefit to their bank accounts, while the national identity approach argues that national identity is decisive in shaping citizens' opinions towards European integration. We have incorporated both of these viewpoints, but have highlighted the way in which political contexts influence these explanations, focusing particularly on the role of national political parties. Our analysis has demonstrated that partisan cueing is essential in our understanding of the conditions under which utilitarian and national identity considerations are mobilized against European integration. Moreover, this article takes an important step towards understanding the nature of this partisan cueing.

Last updated December 2008