Over the last two decades, the process of European integration has become interwoven with the theme of citizenship and the debate on the democratic quality of the EU and of its institutions has become more salient. What are the views about Europe which emerge when we interrogate the national elites of the four large South European countries, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and what is their vision of a supra-national citizenship in its different facets? Are these views sufficiently homogeneous and do they distinguish themselves from those of the rest of the European Union to the point of enabling us to talk about a "distinctive region of Europe"? Which interpretation(s) of European citizenship emerges from a systematic exploration of these opinions?
Using a set of survey and textual data collected in the framework of the IntUne project, the authors attempt to provide some original answers to these questions.
This book was published as a special issue of South European Society and Politics.
"This book contributes importantly to our understanding of European integration in a troubled period and is a valuable addition to the study of elites."
John Higley, Professor of Government and Sociology, University of Texas at Austin; Chair of IPSA Research Committee on Political Elites
"In spite of the paramount relevance assigned to elites in virtually all political processes, most publications are still focused on mass-level citizens. This book is an exception. With an excellent integration of theoretical approaches and empirical findings, the authors make an invaluable contribution to the increasing literature on the European Union and the roles of elites in multilevel political systems."
José Ramón Montero, Professor of Political Science, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
"The entire debate on European citizenship makes a leap forward with this original empirical research so that it will become the standard book for anyone interested in the topic."
Leonardo Morlino, Professor of Political Science, School of Government, LUISS Guido Carli (Roma - Italy), and President of the International Political Science Association