EU Citizenship Perception and Attitudes Toward Globalization: A Study on the Italian Public Opinion

Luigi Cino, Maria Giovanna Neto Sessa

In an era of multiple identities crises, where supranational institutions overlap with national ones accentuating the erosion of legitimacy -the latter seem incapable to recover from- regional integration and globalization are parallel tendencies dealing in opposite ways with the spatial elements. Despite the widespread interest for both topics, literature generally kept such conceptual issues compartmentalized. Hence, this paper attempts to draw together in a causal reasoning European identity as a sense of belonging to the European Union (the independent variable) and the trend of globalization (the dependent variable).Therefore, the research question is: How does the individual perception of EU citizenship influence that of globalization in Italy? The choice to focus on a single case study is not casual. Traditionally a Euro-enthusiast country - a founding member yet deeply affected by the recent economic crisis - Italy's special position in the EU is undoubtedly evolving. Thus, the aim of this paper is to understand whether the Italian public opinion's feeling of being European leads to a perception of globalization as an opportunity (H1) or a threat (H2), according to authoritative stands in scholarship. In order to test the set hypotheses and explore the positive or negative nature of the correlation between the variables, the present analysis relies on data from the Eurobarometer 85 (May 2016) and applies basic quantitative methods to verify which proposition prevails, also controlling for four rival explanations based on demographics and economics at the individual and aggregate levels.

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