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Euroscepticism: A Problematic Concept

Chris Flood

As treatments of Euroscepticism proliferate, it is becoming more important to reflect on the utility of the label, and hence the concept, as a generic descriptor of a multidimensional political phenomenon occurring in a number of different countries. If it is useful, its range of uses nevertheless needs to be kept under review since the ways in which Euroscepticism is defined will reflect and help to determine judgements concerning the actual or potential significance of the phenomenon as a constraint on the shape and pace of the integration process. The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of definition in relation to the policy positions of political parties with regard to the EU, the place of Euroscepticism within different ideologies, public attitudes towards the EU and electoral behaviour.

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