Defining Euroscepticism: from a broad concept to a field of study

Benjamin LERUTH, Nicholas Startin, Simon Usherwood

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Never in the history of European integration has there been a more salient moment to study the much used and much debated concept of Euroscepticism. What with the effects of the 2008 economic crisis still being felt in the Eurozone, deep-seated concerns about Europe's security as epitomised by the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and the on-going refugee and humanitarian crisis stretching across Europe's borders, the European project is under great strain. The 2016 vote in the UK referendum on EU membership has only resulted in greater political uncertainty as Europe's elites wrestle with the consequences of what a vote for Brexit means for both the EU and the UK. What these developments underline is that Euroscepticism never stands still. The target of opposition is always evolving. This is one of the great attractions of studying Euroscepticism, as is its multi-faceted nature. Whatever one's interest, one can find glimpses and reflections of it within the concept: party politics, public opinion, comparative politics, international relations, institutions, psychology, sociology, economics, law, geography, history and much more. As a phenomenon, Euroscepticism seems to touch on everything and to be found everywhere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Euroscepticism
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315464008
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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