This article undertakes a critical revisitation of mass-elite congruence on EU matters, taking stock of 30 years of research and addressing durable ambiguities flagged by recent scholarship. Its specific contribution leverages EUEngage elite and mass survey data gathered in 2016 in 10 European countries. Examining congruence at both the country and the party level, we carry out an uncommon multidimensional analysis that encompasses general European integration and certain key sub-dimensions. At both levels, we perform a distinctive systematization of multiple approaches to the assessment of EU issue congruence, probing the substantive consistency of ensuing results. The findings qualify and soften the conventional wisdom of a chasm between pro-European elites and lukewarm citizens. While most countries exhibit pro-EU elite bias in terms of averages and proportions alike, mass-elite alignment is the rule when the general dimension and its sub-dimensions are understood as binary. Party-level analyses display different outcomes, depending on whether party positions are derived from elites' self-placement or their voters' perceptions, yet discrepancies are generally lower than in past assessments. Altogether, 'constraining dissensus' chiefly emerges along sub-dimensions concerning decision-making authority, as opposed to sub-dimensions evoking solidarity and burden-sharing. The layered panorama of congruence and incongruence implies a dependence of mass-elite interplays on context and sub-dimensions, drawing attention to the mediating role of critical junctures and elite entrepreneurship.

Caught between sovereignty and solidarity? A multidimensional revisitation of EU mass-elite congruence

ANDREA PARESCHI
;
MATTEO GIGLIOLI;GIANFRANCO BALDINI
2022

Abstract

This article undertakes a critical revisitation of mass-elite congruence on EU matters, taking stock of 30 years of research and addressing durable ambiguities flagged by recent scholarship. Its specific contribution leverages EUEngage elite and mass survey data gathered in 2016 in 10 European countries. Examining congruence at both the country and the party level, we carry out an uncommon multidimensional analysis that encompasses general European integration and certain key sub-dimensions. At both levels, we perform a distinctive systematization of multiple approaches to the assessment of EU issue congruence, probing the substantive consistency of ensuing results. The findings qualify and soften the conventional wisdom of a chasm between pro-European elites and lukewarm citizens. While most countries exhibit pro-EU elite bias in terms of averages and proportions alike, mass-elite alignment is the rule when the general dimension and its sub-dimensions are understood as binary. Party-level analyses display different outcomes, depending on whether party positions are derived from elites' self-placement or their voters' perceptions, yet discrepancies are generally lower than in past assessments. Altogether, 'constraining dissensus' chiefly emerges along sub-dimensions concerning decision-making authority, as opposed to sub-dimensions evoking solidarity and burden-sharing. The layered panorama of congruence and incongruence implies a dependence of mass-elite interplays on context and sub-dimensions, drawing attention to the mediating role of critical junctures and elite entrepreneurship.
ANDREA PARESCHI, MATTEO GIGLIOLI, GIANFRANCO BALDINI
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/902381
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