Politicizing Europe in the national electoral arena: A comparative analysis of five West European countries, 1970-2010.

with Edgar Grande. Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(4) 2014, 1002-1018.

Although politicization has become a key concept in European integration studies, it is still contested whether, when, and to what extent European issues have become politicized in domestic political arenas. In this article, we contribute to this discussion both in conceptual and empirical terms. We are using a new multi-dimensional index of politicization to systematically trace the development of politicization in national election campaigns in five West European countries (Austria, Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland) from the 1970s to 2010. Our findings provide clear evidence that Europe has indeed been politicized in the past decades. Moreover, we identified two different paths towards such a politicization. One of these paths is dominated by populist radical parties from the right, while the other path is shaped by the conflict between mainstream parties in government and opposition. On both paths, conflicts over membership play an important role and cultural-identitarian framing strategies are used.

» Accepted version (PDF, 598.66 Kb)

» Link to the article