Although the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) does not conform to the model of Europeanization outlined by Ladrech (2002), there is some evidence of change along the lines identified by De Winter and Gomez-Reino (2002) with reference to other European ethnoregionalist parties. For example, the DUP has certainly adapted its behaviour and policies at both local and European levels with a view to exploiting new political opportunities offered by Europeanization. However, De Winter and Gomez-Reino's argument that participation in European institutions has made formerly-Eurosceptic ethnoregionalist parties 'moderate Eurocritics' does not fully apply to the DUP. The DUP continues to demonstrate a number of Eurosceptic characteristics, including ones grounded in extreme religious interpretations of the purpose and process of European integration. Nevertheless, the party's Eurosceptic outlook does not prevent it from being willing to 'battle in Brussels' (as put in its 2009 manifesto for the European elections) in order to serve domestic (party) interests - a tactic not dissimilar to the DUP's approach to Northern Ireland politics in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations