The Electoral Connection in European Union Politics

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Abstract

Why does European integration proceed? This article tests among three theories of representation. The “permissive consensus” theory argues that political elites have been able to pursue their own policy interests because of public disinterest; Stimson's (1991) “policy mood” theory argues that public disinterest is a sign that political elites are hewing close enough to public preferences; and the “cue-taking” theory argues that a disinterested public's preferences will be correlated with political elite policy positions not because elites are responding to public preferences, but because political elites shape weakly held preferences through their policy positions. A two-stage least squares regression model is used to test among the theories. The results provide support for the policy mood theory.

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