MEASURING THE EFFECT OF RIGID PATRIOTISM ON TRUST IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WITHIN ITS MEMBER-STATES
French, Kenneth Ray
The June 2016 Brexit vote along with rising populist movements in Europe and the United States has made relevant discussions regarding nationalism as a potential roadblock to the increasingly globalized world. Though conceptually supported, empirical data on the effects of nationalism on support for trans-national institutions is lacking. This study attempts to isolate nationalism – through a constructed variable called “rigid patriotism” – and study its effect on trust in the European Parliament. Data for the study is taken from the European Social Survey, a social sciences based survey conducted every two years since 2002. Through a multivariate OLS and fixed effect models, rigid patriotism is found to have a significant, though substantially small, negative effect on trust in the European Parliament. An attempt to further isolate rigid patriotism by instrumenting conscription failed the stage I relevancy test. Though further testing is needed to support the construct of rigid patriotism, this result justifies concerns that a nationalistic identity may be antithetical to trans-national institutions.
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