Our paper "Politicizing Europe in the national electoral arena" won the best paper prize of the Journal of Common Market Studies
Praise by the Jury for ‘Politicizing Europe in the National Electoral Arena: A Comparative Analysis of Five West European Countries, 1970–2010’ by Swen Hutter and Edgar Grande (JCMS 2014)
The politicization of European integration is a topic that has important societal significance for the present and future of Europe and the world. It is also an issue of considerable theoretical importance for scholars of history, international relations, comparative politics, and other social-scientific fields of inquiry. The article ‘Politicizing Europe in the National Electoral Arena: A Comparative Analysis of Five West European Countries, 1970–2010’ by Swen Hutter and Edgar Grande makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the dynamics and context of the polarization of European integration during four crucial decades of the history of the European Union. Based on a rigorous measurement strategy and extensive data collection, Hutter and Grande paint a comprehensive and nuanced picture of the evolution of politicization of Europe in five core European states; a picture that goes well beyond the stylized fact that politicization increased after the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht and highlights important differences between countries in the scale and manners of politicization. Moreover, Hutter and Grande examine the processes that led to the varying degrees of politicization of Europe across the five states and identify two different paths through which the national party systems and patterns of party competition affected the domestic salience and contestation of European integration.
In sum, the article by Hutter and Grande is a great example of how social science can provide timely and useful insights about processes of both societal and theoretical significance and how systematic data collection and analysis can contribute to political and academic discussions alike. The data and interpretations developed by Hutter and Grande give valuable resources to the academic community to test and develop new theories and ideas about politics in a multi-level system of governance and will surely contribute significantly to shaping scientific debates about the past, present, and future of European integration.