Lorenzo De Sio, Mark N. Franklin, Till Weber, The risks and opportunities of Europe: How issue yield explains (non-)reactions to the financial crisis, Electoral Studies, Volume 44, December 2016, Pages 483-491, ISSN 0261-3794,


The financial crisis subjected the EU to its first truly serious stress test. A majority of citizens is now opposed to further integration. But party systems have barely adjusted, instead perpetuating traditional patterns of an evasive mainstream with Euroskeptic fringes. To explain this unexpected outcome we draw on issue yield (De Sio and Weber, 2014), a general model of political competition that unites public opinion, party unity and electoral support. Issue yield highlights how the crisis affected risks and opportunities differently for pro- and anti-integration parties. For such an asymmetric constellation, the model predicts the muffled choices supplied by most parties on EU matters. We use the European Election Studies 2009/2014 and the Chapel Hill Expert Surveys 2010/2014 to document these patterns.
Keywords: Agenda setting; European integration; Party competition; Public opinion