Popular understandings of the European Union: A meaning-centred mixed-methods study

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What does the European Union (EU) mean to citizens? In Popular understandings of the European Union. A meaning-centred mixed-methods study, Elske van den Hoogen applies a novel emic meaning-centred mixed-method approach of investigating public opinion on the EU. Informed by the perspectives of members of the public themselves, she reveals that, alongside the well-known populist version of Euroscepticism that is characteristic of a minor segment of the Dutch population, various kinds of Europhilia exist. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, many of the best-known criticisms of the EU are shared by Europhiles, albeit in a more constructive form and for different reasons. The dissertation also shows that information campaigns reduce the Euroscepticism of citizens who know the least about the institution, and messages about the EU lead to more Euroscepticism in case they are published in a newspaper that is known to be more Eurosceptic. Overall, the EU’s official motto, “United in Diversity”, formulated with the myriad of cultures and nationalities of member states in mind, in fact also describes the ways people understand the institution. This is particularly the case for how those who support the EU understand it.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • de Koster, Willem, Supervisor
  • van der Waal, Jeroen, Supervisor
Award date15 Mar 2024
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Print ISBNs978-94-6483-694-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

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