Södertörns högskola Statsvetenskap
The issue of European integration has disrupted party politics in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in various ways. This article assesses the impact of internal division over Europe within certain parties, and these parties’ responses to it. It is argued that party leaderships have increasingly attempted to compartmentalize the different arenas in which they operate, and to isolate potentially damaging European questions in quarantined areas. This can be observed in, for example, party leaders’ resort to referendums to decide contentious EU-related matters, the suspension of party discipline when such matters are debated and the careful sequencing of different party goals. The experiences of the Scandinavian social democratic parties are examined as comparative cases. Finally, some hypotheses that might inform further research are suggested, and some wider consequences of these strategies of compartmentalization are discussed.
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/ Aylott , Nicholas / 2002