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Referendums in the European Union

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Login to add to list. Be the first to add this to a list. Another form of heterogeneity was detected in his analysis. There was some empirical support for the thesis. Another form of heterogeneity has also been assessed by Garry Angry voters are more likely to make choices based on second-order factors, whereas anxious voters will tend to be risk-averse and seek out more information in an attempt to make a choice based on their attitudes toward the issue.

Garry provides empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis about emotions.

In line with risk aversion, anxious voters were more likely to support the Fiscal Compact than angry voters. The final result was a yes vote because there were more anxious voters than angry voters. There have been three no votes in EU referendums in and , including the dramatic British no vote in June to leave the EU. Are we witnessing new voter dynamics? Is voter decision-making more influenced by a broad lack of confidence in political elites and institutions among large groups of voters, resulting in a new form of second-order dynamics?

That a majority of British voters opted to leave the EU was a shock for many observers, although polls in the run-up suggested that it might be close. However, a small majority voted to leave the EU, with a turnout of Overall, Hobolt found that issue-voting dominated voter decision-making, which was not surprising given the high salience of the issue. This suggests that voter decision-making was driven by some of the same concerns that have led to increased support for right-wing populist parties throughout Europe, both in national elections and in the EP election of Steenbergen and Siczek also found support for issue-voting, but they also investigated whether voter levels of risk propensity affected how they voted.

The theory was that more risk-averse voters would prefer to keep what they know and vote Remain, whereas voters who responded in surveys that they were willing to take risks also were more likely to vote for Brexit. Their findings suggest that the emerging political psychology literature, which looks at the impact that different underlying personality traits can have, is also relevant in understanding voter behavior in EU referendums. Related to this, there is some evidence from recent studies of the importance of attitude strength and motivated reasoning from Danish referendum in Issue-voting dominated decision-making by voters, but there was also a difference in how voters with strong attitudes behaved.


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The theory of motivated reasoning suggests that voters with strongly-held attitudes will selectively recruit and evaluate information in a manner that gives greater credence to information that matches their pre-existing beliefs. This suggests that providing more information in a campaign will not necessarily shift voters, but instead enables them to figure out how they should vote based on their pre-existing EU attitudes.

Research on EU referendums can be split into three distinct questions: 1 Why are referendums convened? Governments convene referendums for a number of reasons. There are situations where they are constitutionally mandated, but in other situations they are voluntary. Here research has suggested both norm-based and strategic reasons for convening referendums. Campaigns do matter, but the preponderance of evidence suggests that the effects deal mainly with providing information about the proposition that can enable voters to determine whether they should support it or not based on their underlying attitudes toward the EU.

Campaigns can also matter by priming particular aspects of the issue. When making decisions, there is a strong body of evidence that indicates that in salient referendums, voter decision-making is dominated by issue-voting. However, there is still significant work to be done in incorporating insights from political psychology into the study of voter decision-making in EU referendums.

Atikcan, E. The puzzle of double referendums in the European Union. Find this resource:. Bartels, L. Homer gets a tax cut: Inequality and public policy in the American mind. Perspectives on Politics , 3 1 , 15— Beach, D.

3. The European Policy Process in Comparative Perspective - Politics Trove

Mendez Eds. Berinsky, A. An Estimate of Risk Aversion in the U. Quarterly Journal of Political Science , 2 2 , — Bogdanor, V. Western Europe. Ranney Eds. The growing use of direct democracy pp. London: Macmillan. Boomgaarden, H. European Union Politics , 12 2 , — Bowler, S. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Do voters have a cue? Television advertisements as a source of information in citizen-initiated referendum campaigns. European Journal of Political Research , 41 , — Buch, R. Scandinavian Political Studies , 25 1 , 1— Christin, T. Referendums and citizen support for European integration.

Comparative Political Studies , 35 5 , — Closa, C. Why convene referendums? Explaining choices in EU constitutional politics. Journal of European Public Policy , 1 4 8 , — Downs, A. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing. Druckman, J. The politics of motivation. Critical Review , 24 , — Epley, N.


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    Edited by Helen Wallace, Mark A. Pollack, and Alasdair R. Young

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    19. Making Public Policy

    Journal of European Public Policy , 23 9 , — Contesting the European Union? Why the Dutch and French rejected the European Constitution. Political Research Quarterly , 64 2 , — Public Support for European Integration. Annual Review of Political Science , 19 1 , — Holbrook, A. Attitude importance and the accumulation of attitude-relevant knowledge in memory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 88 5 , — Hooghe, L. Calculation, community and cues: Public opinion on European integration.

    European Union Politics , 6 4 , — Houston, D. Biased processing as a function of attitude accessibility: Making objective judgments subjectively. Social Cognition , 7 Spring , 51— Enter the code below and hit Verify. Free Shipping All orders of Cash on Delivery Pay for your order in cash at the moment the shipment is delivered to your doorstep. Log In. Don't have an account? Sign Up. Update your profile Let us wish you a happy birthday! Add your birthday. Buy it Again. Make sure to buy your groceries and daily needs Buy Now.

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