'A touchstone of consent?' Euroscepticisme in consensusdemocratieën

  • Louise Hoon orcid logo


This article looks at national political institutions and euroscepticism. Over a timespan of 25 years, 1compare values for majoritarian vs consensus democracy for 14 European democracies, with measures for euroscepticism at the levels of party systems, elections and public opinion. Consistent with the thesis that consensus democracy generates more system-opposition at the national level, this regime type is also more sensitive to euroscepticism. This is not the case, however, for France and the UK, two very eurosceptic majoritarian democracies. The study also shows that a context of socioeconomic crisis (2008-2014) turns this relationship around, as increased conflict within society demands for more consensus at the elite level. The study essentially argues that euroscepticism still is 'a touchstone of dissent' for national polities. However, the extent to which national democracies generate this dissent, and especially, whether it is channelled by eurosceptic parties, depends on the dominance of consensus in the domestic institutional context.

How to Cite:

Hoon, L., (2016) “'A touchstone of consent?' Euroscepticisme in consensusdemocratieën”, Res Publica 58(4), 445-471.

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Published on
30 Dec 2016
Peer Reviewed