Edwards, Erica E. (2008) Products of their Past? Cleavages and Intra-Party Dissent Over European Integration. IHS Political Science Series Paper No. 118. February 2009. [Policy Paper]
What explains contemporary intra-party dissent on EU issues? This article develops a cleavage theory model of internal party dissent over European integration. Drawing on Lipset and Rokkan’s classic model of political cleavages and on its applications to party positioning on European integration, I argue that if one seeks to understand when, where, and to what extent internal divisions manifest themselves, one must look to the particular historical vulnerabilities of political parties. Using expert survey data, I demonstrate that the ease with which political parties are able to assimilate the issue of European integration is influenced by the legacy of past political tensions and the extent to which the economic and political aspects of the EU reactivate pre-existing cleavages.
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