Politicizing Europe in hard times: Conflicts over Europe in France in a long-term perspective, 1974-2012.

with Alena Kerscher. Journal of European Integration, 36(3) 2014, 267-282.

This article examines whether and how the Euro crisis has affected the long-term trends of politicization of Europe in France. Has the crisis fuelled the extent of politicization? Do we observe shifts in specific aspects of Europe being politicized? Are the patterns of opposition changing? To answer these questions, the authors compare the electoral campaign in 2012 with all French campaigns since 1974. Additionally, France is put in a broader comparative perspective. Politicization is conceptualized as three inter-related dimensions: issue salience, actor expansion, and polarization. Methodologically, the article is based on a relational content analysis of newspaper articles. The findings show that the Euro crisis boosted the level of politicization, and economic policies as well as justification frames became more important. However, the degree of polarization was higher in election campaigns that focused more on  constitutional conflicts over membership and were dominated by concerns with national identity and sovereignty.

» Online appendix (PDF, 333.75 Kb)

» Link to the article