Date of Award

4-16-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. William Downs - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Jelena Subotic

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Hankla

Abstract

This thesis seeks to explain Euroskeptic attitudes by examining the relationship between information and Euroskepticism and the role of Euroskepticism in the post-enlargement integration debate. Drawing upon data from the Eurobarometer survey series and the European Election Studies, this thesis tests the relationship between information and attitudes towards membership, the direction of integration, and voting. This analysis concludes the roles of knowledge and awareness have divergent influences on hard and soft Euroskepticism. While increased knowledge increases support for membership in the EU, increased awareness decreases support for the direction of integration. This conclusion suggests that knowledge initially informs individuals of the benefits of being a member in the EU but greater awareness increases the likelihood they will be a harsher critic of the way in which it is developing, necessitating further examination of the role of the Euroskeptic movement in public opinion.

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