Get access

Individual transnationalism, globalisation and euroscepticism: An empirical test of Deutsch's transactionalist theory


Theresa Kuhn, Department of Political and Social Science, European University Institute, via dei roccettini, 9, I-50014, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy. E-mail:


Recent trends of mass-level euroscepticism seriously challenge Deutsch's transactionalist theory that increased transnational interactions trigger support for further political integration. While transnational interactions have indeed proliferated, public support for European integration has diminished. This article aims to solve this puzzle by arguing that transnational interaction is highly stratified across society. Its impact on EU support therefore only applies to a small portion of the public. The rest of the population not only fails to be prompted to support the integration process, but may see it as a threat to their realm. This is even more the case as, parallel to European integration, global trends of integration create tensions in national societies. The following hypotheses are proposed: first, the more transnational an individual, the less she or he is prone to be eurosceptical; and second, this effect is more pronounced in countries that are more globalised. A multilevel ordinal logit analysis of survey data from the 2006 Eurobarometer wave 65.1 confirms these hypotheses.