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The geography of EU discontent

Lewis Dijkstra, Hugo Poelman and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose ()

Regional Studies, 2020, vol. 54, issue 6, 737-753

Abstract: Support for parties opposed to European Union (EU) integration has risen rapidly, and a wave of discontent has taken over the EU. This discontent is purportedly driven by the very factors behind the surge of populism: differences in age, wealth, education, or economic and demographic trajectories. This paper maps the geography of EU discontent across more than 63,000 electoral districts in the EU-28 and assesses which factors push anti-EU voting. The results show that the anti-EU vote is mainly a consequence of local economic and industrial decline in combination with lower employment and a less educated workforce. Many of the other suggested causes of discontent, by contrast, matter less than expected, or their impact varies depending on levels of opposition to European integration.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1654603

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