Publication details

Affective attachment to the EU : Questioning the importance of childhood socialization



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source European Union Politics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Age-Period-Cohort analysis; childhood socialization; Euroscepticism; political socialization; political support
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Description In a time of rising Euroscepticism across Europe, diffuse support for the European Union (EU) is an especially important concept as it provides a source of stability for the EU. How important is childhood political socialization for the development of diffuse support? The extant literature emphasizes the role of childhood socialization. However, these studies are based on analyses that cannot fully distinguish between the cohort effect and the life-cycle effect. This study overcomes this limitation by looking at a more suitable case (the European Union) and by using a novel technique that effectively distinguishes the cohort effect from the life-cycle effect. The findings show that individuals who experienced early life political socialization in the EU have equal levels of diffuse support as individuals who grew up outside the EU. I thus argue that diffuse support develops through experience in adult life, and childhood political socialization is not essential for its development.
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