The project intends to undertake a quantitative cross-national study of the successes of Eurosceptic political parties in Central and East Europe (CEE). It approaches this question in a novel way by exploiting systematic but unexplained attitudinal differences between mass publics in the CEE states and Western Europe. In doing so, it addresses empirically one of the central questions of contemporary European politics, the perception of European integration and the causes of the growing disenchantment on a part of the European public. The central argument is that the success of the Eurosceptic label in CEE party politics is not entirely a function of anti-EU sentiments but in part a response to mainstream party convergence and the perception of widespread corruption among domestic elites. By operationalizing and empirically testing these propositions with country-level and individual-level data from the region, it is possible to parse out the relative importance of these questions. Specifically, the project will implement surveys in representative CEE country(ies) where one can observe sufficient variation in type and strength of protest parties.
The project forms the center piece of the fellow’s new research agenda while building on his previous work in the US. An experienced researcher, the fellow has to reestablish himself in a new scholarly community upon relocation from the United States to the University of Salzburg, Austria. There, he is expected to match the commitment and resources provided by his new academic institution. The principal benefit from this grant does not consist in launching or redirecting a career but to allow the effective progression of the fellow’s career after a major professional change.
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