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Why ‘Return to Europe?’ Exploring public opinion to European union membership in the Visegrad countries 2002-2004

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dc.contributor.advisor Robinson, Neil
dc.contributor.advisor Halpin, Brendan
dc.contributor.creator Andersen, Annelin 2010-08-03T11:39:44Z 2010-08-03T11:39:44Z 2010
dc.description non-peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract This study investigates public opinion formation in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary between 2002-2004 using Zaller’s model of opinion formation and Gabel and Palmer’s utilitarian hypothesis. The study has several purposes. A primary objective is to attempt to provide useful information about the selected aspects of the public opinion formation process in the case study countries through using the models. The study also wishes to explore whether the models are able to explain public opinion, evaluate their parsimony and applicability and critically examine their theoretical frameworks. A further purpose is to compare and contrast the models. A final objective is to contribute to the academic debate on whether ‘traditional’ models of public opinion formation which were developed to study public opinion in the old member states are applicable to case studies in the post-communist new member states. This part of the study will discuss whether the theoretical frameworks of the selected models can be transferred to countries with different political contexts and dynamics surrounding the EU issue than countries in the EU15. The study mainly applies quantitative methods to test the models, but also extensive reviews about the literature about the EU issue and the political realities of the selected case study countries had to be conducted to facilitate the specification of the models and to interpret the results. The study concludes that while none of the models could be confirmed unconditionally, they still produced useful information about attitudes towards EU membership. While the results questioned the theoretical framework of Zaller’s model on a more fundamental level than Gabel and Palmer’s hypothesis, the latter model was concluded to be the most robust framework to study public opinion. Despite the slight preference for Gabel and Palmer’s model, both models were recommended for further research. Therefore, alternative approaches were suggested on how to further explore how the models can contribute to knowledge about how citizens form opinions on European integration. The models were also found to be transferable to the new member states, even if it was suggested that the theoretical frameworks and results may have to be interpreted differently than if the models were applied to old member states. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick, Department of Politics and Public Administration en_US
dc.subject European union en_US
dc.subject Czech Republic en_US
dc.subject Slovakia en_US
dc.subject Poland en_US
dc.subject Hungary en_US
dc.title Why ‘Return to Europe?’ Exploring public opinion to European union membership in the Visegrad countries 2002-2004 en_US
dc.type Doctoral thesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.type.restriction none en

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