Mass Euroscepticism Revisited: The Role of Distributive Justice
About this Session
Thu. 07.04. 10:30
Speaker: Sharon Baute
This article advances research on mass Euroscepticism by investigating the role of distributive justice. Drawing on cross-national survey data in 23 countries, the study shows that how citizens evaluate the distribution of scarce resources in society affects the democratic legitimacy of the EU. More specifically, the findings indicate that perceived injustice of individual opportunities (i.e., educational and job chances) and outcomes (i.e., earnings) nourish Eurosceptic sentiments independent of objective inequalities. However, the implications of distributive justice perceptions on Euroscepticism vary across EU member states since corruption levels weaken the apparent link of accountability. Perceptions of earnings injustice provide a stronger breeding ground for Euroscepticism in member states with low levels of corruption. In member states where corruption is highest, it appears that EU-scapegoating for earnings injustice does not manifest. These results are strongly supportive of a justice-based approach in understanding varieties of public Euroscepticism across Europe.
Keywords: Euroscepticism, distributive justice, corruption, public opinion, European integration