James Godowic

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Clark, Michael

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


European Union countries--Politics and government; Political parties--European Union countries


Why have political parties on the European level not been able to institutionalize as full parties that present candidates and campaigns to the public? When voters cast ballots, they do not vote for a European political party but rather for the national party that only campaigns in the borders of their own country. This has terrible consequences for the accountability of the European Union to its citizens, an institution that has been accused of having a democratic deficit for many years. This paper examines the institutional development of the European Union, alongside the theories of political party development, and finds that the most salient cleavage among the European public, that of the relationship between the nation-state and the European Union, has been kept off the agenda of European elections. National leaders have sought to control the course of European political development while trying to keep their own national parties unified on the subject of national sovereignty, resulting in elections that are referenda on national governments as opposed to contests between competing visions of Europe. These findings indicate that a more Presidential style of election may be the only way for "Europarties" to extend into the public and allow voters to hold the European Union accountable using traditional democratic means.


Advisors: Michael Clark.||Committee members: Kikue Hamayotsu; Scot Schraufnagel.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


v, 55 pages




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