Factors relating to identity and to economics have been shown to be important predictors of attitudes towards the European Union (EU). In this article, we show that the impact of identity is conditional on economic context. First, living in a member state that receives relatively high levels of EU funding acts as a 'buffer', diluting the impact of an exclusive national identity on Euroscepticism. Second, living in a relatively wealthy member state, with its associated attractiveness for economic migrants, increases the salience of economic xenophobia as a driver of sceptical attitudes. These results highlight the importance of seeing theories of attitude formation (such as economic and identity theories) not as competitors but rather as complementary, with the predictive strength of one theoretical approach (identity) being a function of system-level variation in factors relating to the other theoretical approach (macro-level economic conditions).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Political Science and International Relations