Value Diversity and Support for Further European Integration

By Mebs Kanji, Axel Huelsemeyer and Nicki Doyle.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Advocates of European Union (EU) integration, particularly political elites, have typically taken the approval of their citizenry for granted. The rejection of the EU constitutional treaty in France and the Netherlands in 2005, however, suggests that citizens may not always support further EU integration. Moreover, it raises questions about why such a transformation occurred in two of the six founding countries where support for EU integration has traditionally been exceptionally high. Those who have studied these developments to date have tended to focus mainly on economic rational choice considerations. Our purpose here is not to discount such arguments but rather to suggest that there may be an equally important cultural element that has yet to be systematically explored. For example, the earlier work of Karl Deutsch and his colleagues (1957), suggests that a multiplicity of value systems within the EU could potentially have negative consequences when it comes to support for further integration. In this paper we employ data from the European and World Values Surveys, as well as the Eurobarometer Surveys to examine three main questions. First, is there any evidence to suggest that the expansion of the EU has made the community more value diverse? Second, if so, does the evidence show that the increase in value diversity is due mainly to the expansion into Central and Eastern Europe? Third, is there any evidence to indicate that this increased value diversity may have been linked to support for the EU constitution?

Keywords: Value Diversity, European Integration, European Union

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.157-166. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.271MB).

Dr. Mebs Kanji

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mebs Kanji is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. His research interests include Canadian politics, comparative politics, values diversity, social cohesion, political support and democratic governance.

Dr. Axel Huelsemeyer

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Axel Huelsemeyer is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. His research concentrates on International Political Economy, economic globalization and regional integration (specifically in Europe and the Western Hemisphere).

Nicki Doyle

Graduate Student, Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nicki Doyle is a graduate student in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. Her research interests include Canadian politics (health care in particular), comparative politics, and political efficacy.

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