Rowman and Littlefield International

Perceptions of Europe

A Comparative Sociology of European Attitudes

Edited by Daniel Gaxie, Nicolas Hubé, and Jay Rowell

This book presents the main findings of a comparative qualitative survey conducted in France, Germany, Italy, and Poland.

Hardback ISBN: 9781907301155 Release date: Oct 2001
£65.00 €90.00 $105.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781907301599 Release date: Feb 2013
£30.00 €41.00 $49.00

Pages: 290

ECPR Press

This book presents the main findings of a comparative qualitative survey conducted in France, Germany, Italy, and Poland. Ordinary citizens from very different social backgrounds and professions were asked a range of open-ended questions, allowing them to express themselves freely. There have been few qualitative surveys on ordinary citizens' views of European integration, and none on this scale. The resulting picture is very different from the self-evident assumptions of many current studies on European opinions. Contributions to the volume stress the great diversity, ambiguity, and complexity of European attitudes. They emphasise the causal impact of formal education, political interest and involvement, individual everyday exposures to ‘European' realities, and the role of collective national experiences of European integration and national history.


List of Figures and Tables vii

Contributors ix

Preface xi

Chapter 1: What we Know and do not Know About Citizens’ Attitudes

Towards Europe

Daniel Gaxie 1

Chapter 2: The Eurobarometer and the Making of European Opinion

Philippe Aldrin 17

Chapter 3: Methodology of the Project

Daniel Gaxie and Jay Rowell 35

Chapter 4: Types of Attitudes Towards Europe

Daniel Gaxie 51

Chapter 5: For or Against the EU? Ambivalent Attitudes and Varied

Arguments Towards Europe

Dorota Dakowska and Nicolas Hubé 85

Chapter 6: Temporality and Historical Experience in Attitudes Towards

Europe: Is There a Nationality Effect?

Dorota Dakowska and Jay Rowell 101

Chapter 7: Talking About Europe: Techniques and Resources in the

Formulation of Opinions on the EU

Philippe Aldrin and Marine De Lassalle 119

Chapter 8: Producing Opinions on European Questions: A Specific


Patrick Lehingue 143

Chapter 9: The European Puzzle: Gathering, Sorting and Assembling

Piecemeal Information

Giuliano Bobba, Katarzyna Jaszczyk and Muriel Rambour 157

Chapter 10: European Worlds

Marine de Lassalle 175

Chapter 11: Europe in the Popular Milieus: What ‘Silent Citizens’

Perceive of Europe

Christèle Marchand and Pierre Edouard Weill 197

Chapter 12: When Europe Mobilises...

Nicolas Hubé, Jean-Matthieu Méon and Sébastien Michon 215


Daniel Gaxie 241

Bibliography 245

Subject Index 261

Author Index 269

Daniel Gaxie is a political sociologist and Professor of political science at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has conducted extensive research on political participation, attitudes and behaviour, elites, institutions and public policies. As well as his involvement in the INTUNE and Eurelites projects he is known for his book Le cens caché (The Hidden Disfranchisement) first published in 1978.

Nicolas Hubé is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Deputy-Dean of the Political Science Department at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. As well as his involvement in the INTUNE project, his research interests include the use and misuse of polls in political life and communication in EU institutions. He has published in Perspectives on European Politics and Society.

Jay Rowell is a full-time researcher in sociology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and director of the Centre for European Political Sociology (GSPE) at the University of Strasbourg. His research focuses in particular on disability policy and the uses of statistical instruments in the European polity. He has recently published, with A Campana and E Henry, La construction des problèmes publics en Europe, Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2007 and with M Mangenot , A political sociology of Europe: Reassessing Constructivism, Manchester University Press, 2010.

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