A more martial Europe? Public opinion, permissive consensus, and EU defence policy

Public support for EU defence has been dismissed as mere “permissive consensus”, rather than genuine support. The assumption that public opinion towards European integration is passive and shallow, especially over foreign policy issues, is contested in a paper by. K. Schildea, S. Andersonb, and A. Garner. They demonstrate that, contrary to the logic permissive concensus, the European publics have held coherent preferences over the use of force at the European level. They conclude that the slow progress of integration in this area is due to the reluctance of elites rather than to the reticence of Europe’s citizens.

Photo credits: Aad Meijer, Flickr

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