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Praying on Brexit? Unpicking the effect of religion on support for European Union integration and membership

Kolpinskaya, Ekaterina and Fox, Stuart 2019. Praying on Brexit? Unpicking the effect of religion on support for European Union integration and membership. Journal of Common Market Studies 57 (3) , pp. 580-598. 10.1111/jcms.12836

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This study examines how religious affiliation shapes support for European Union membership. While previous research has shown that Protestants are typically more Eurosceptic than Catholics, little is known about the nature of this relationship: specifically, whether religion affects one’s utilitarian assessments of the costs and benefits of membership, or one’s affective attachment to the EU. Using the 2016 British Election Study Referendum Panel, this paper shows that religious affiliation influences both sets of attitudes, suggesting that the values and shared history associated with one’s religion shapes how voters perceive the performance of the EU in delivering its policy objectives, and its operation as a legitimate institution. Moreover, some findings from previous research are challenged: Protestants are not as unified in their scepticism of the EU as is widely assumed, and the positive relationship between Catholicism and support for EU integration is not apparent in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0021-9886
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 27 June 2018
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 04:16

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