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February 24 , 2010

Euroscepticism in Southern Europe

A Diachronic Perspective


Euroscepticism has emerged as a growing constraint on European integration, starting with the Maastricht Treaty in the early 1990s, continuing with the mid-2000s constitutional debacle and intensifying with the eurozone crisis – a crisis in which Southern Europe has played a key role. But is opposition to European integration really greater now than in the past? The only way to answer this question is through diachronic studies, focusing on change over time. This is the gap in the literature which the present volume aims to fill, through an examination of the origins, evolution and prospects of opposition to integration, focusing on a region traditionally regarded as exceptionally europhile.

As a laboratory for the study of attitudes towards European integration, Southern Europe offers a particularly rich range of case studies, including a founder member (Italy), three ‘second generation’ states (Greece, Spain and Portugal), two recent entrants (Cyprus and Malta) and a negotiating candidate (Turkey). The volume traces the evolution of euroscepticism in each South European country, assessing its significance, identifying key turning-points and highlighting both continuity and change. Covering party and popular euroscepticism, the book illuminates similarities and differences between national experiences of euroscepticism.

This book was published as a special issue of South European Society and Politics.

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