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WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PORTUGUESE EUROSCEPTICISM THE DEPOLICITIZATION OF EUROPE AND ITS CONS

In the following sections, I will argue that although opinions about Portuguese membership in the EU have ceased to play a crucial role both in party appeals and electoral behavior, that is not the case in what concerns their impact on other forms of polit

Working Paper PRI-3

What Ever Happened to Portuguese Euroscepticism?

The Depolicitization of Europe and its Consequences

by

Pedro C. Magalhães

November 2, 2002

Abstract

In the following sections, I will argue that although opinions about Portuguese

membership in the EU have ceased to play a crucial role both in party appeals and

electoral behavior, that is not the case in what concerns their impact on other forms of

political behavior and attitudes. More specifically, I will suggest that the decline in

electoral turnout currently experienced in Portugal, particularly since 1995, cannot be

fully understood with exploring the combination between resilient Euroscepticism

among a minority of the population and the depoliticization of Europe at the level of

political élites. Furthermore, I will also suggest that, under the present conditions,

anti-Europeanism may have developed into a more permanent and disturbing set of

political attitudes of mistrust in, and disengagement from, domestic political

institutions.

Pedro C. Magalhães, Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa

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