The European Union and National Politics
The chapter begins with a brief sketch of the EU’s representative politics in comparison with national politics. It then examines the EU’s effects on national politics generally as well as differentially between majoritarian and proportional representation systems in terms of questions related to party politics and electoral participation, referenda and citizen activism, trust in government, identity and class between majoritarian and proportional representation systems. This is followed by a more detailed consideration of the EU’s effects in France, Britain, Germany, and Italy. While Europeanization has been equally problematic for the polarized, majoritarian politics of France and Britain, Britain has been more politically polarized for much longer around the issue of Europe than France, despite the fact that it has shielded itself more from EU encroachments on national policies. Europeanization has been least disruptive to Germany’s consensus-oriented, proportional representation system and most salutary to Italy’s more conflictual, mixed system of representation.
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