Beyond the spectrum : understanding Czech Euroscepticism outside left-right classification

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O'Dowd, Kathryn Quinn

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Commonly known as Euroscepticism, critical views of the European Union have grown significantly in the thirteen years since the Czech Republic joined the EU. Especially in light of the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the EU, it is imperative that we understand Euroscepticism across member-states. The Czech Republic is an important place to contextualize Euroscepticism due to its history as a post-communist state. Euroscepticism occurs both on the left and right ends of the political spectrum in the Czech Republic, as such there needs to be a more holistic picture of the factors that influence adoption of a Eurosceptic platform. This study looks at factors beyond a party’s position on the left-right spectrum—such as party age, level of education, and urban/rural divide—in an effort to better understand which parties in the Czech Republic are the most likely to develop Eurosceptic platforms. While rural and less educated citizens are more likely to be Eurosceptic, party elites tend to overrule popular opinions in the development of party platforms. Age of the party, however, has a strong correlation with a party’s likelihood of being Eurosceptic. Newer parties are more likely than older ones of adopting Eurosceptic platforms, thus presents strong evidence for the growing permanence of Euroscepticism within the Czech party system.


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