Scully, Roger M. (1999) “Between Nation, Party and Identity: A Study of European Parliamentarians”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
In this paper I examine the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence pertaining to the issue of whether Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) ‘go native’ during their time in the chamber: i.e., become socialized into attitudes more supportive of closer European integration and greater powers for the Parliament. Despite considerable speculation on the matter, and some literature supportive of the idea, the ‘going native’ thesis is argued to be under-explored in the context of the EP. The empirical analysis presented suggests that while there is little evidence of socialization effects shaping MEPs’ behaviour on issues relating to integration and the powers of the parliament, there is support for the notion of ‘selection’ effects and links to parties producing members disposed to adopt such attitudes, even from more sceptical countries like the UK. Nonetheless, notions of MEPs developing a coherent, shared “European identity” are over-drawn-European parliamentarians retain deeply-embedded national and partisan ties.
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