MAPLE (Measuring and Analysing European Politicization before and after the Eurozone Crisis

The Eurozone crisis forces us to reconsider the conventional wisdom that “Europe” has little effect on national electoral politics. MAPLE’s central goal is to analyse the degree of politicisation of the European issue in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain in 2000-2017, and its consequences for voting behaviour.

Our main thesis is that a fundamental shift has occurred in the vote function as a result of this politicisation: short-term factors of voting behaviour, such as economic perceptions and leader-effects, may have been structurally diminished in the countries under bailouts, and where citizens increasingly perceive the main policy decisions as being directed from Brussels.

Seeking to determine the impact of the Eurozone crisis on the attitudes and behaviours, MAPLE will explain how Europe has entered national electoral politics and with what consequences for the vote calculus.

MAPLE investigates the salience and polarisation of the European issue, in the media, during electoral campaigns, and in parliamentary debates. The combined analysis of these dimensions will allow us to build an Index of Politicisation of the EU (IPEU), which will provide an innovative, integrated yardstick to account for the level and timing of politicisation. The index will then be used to test hypothesis on what may cause changes in the politicisation of EU during national elections. Finally, we analyse the degree to which politicisation has had an impact on political attitudes and voting behaviour, and its consequences for domestic politics in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

MAPLE is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement nº682125) and is hosted at the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.