- Hard and soft: Public support for Turkish membership in the EU
- European Union Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Support for European integration is a function no longer only of `hard' economic and utilitarian predictors but also of `soft' predictors such as feelings of identity and attitudes towards immigrants. Focusing on the issue of the potential membership of Turkey in the European Union (EU), this study demonstrates that the importance of `soft' predictors outweighs the role of `hard' predictors in understanding public opinion about Turkish membership. The study draws on survey data (N = 1630) and applies a series of regression models and structural equation modelling to show in addition how the effects of utilitarian considerations are mediated through `soft' indicators, further accentuating the importance of identity considerations and anti-immigration sentiments. The findings are discussed in the light of public support for and the legitimacy of further European enlargement.
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