Brexit as much due to resistance to supranationalism as immigration

Brexit
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The UK referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU) may have had as much to do with people's distrust of international organisations as it did fear of immigration.

Researchers from the University of Kent's schools of Psychology and Politics and International Relations found that Euroscepticism is not only shaped by attitudes towards immigration and feelings of national identity but also by opposition towards UK involvement in transnational organisations such as the EU.

Supranationalism is defined as the transfer of power from the national to the supranational level, leading to increased dependence on foreign political partners and increased social and .

Led by Dr. Kristof Dhont, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, the team considered study respondents' ideological predispositions, particularly preferences for cultural traditions and loyalty to national authority (termed right-wing authoritarianism) and a desire for group-based dominance and hierarchy in society (social dominance orientation) to see whether these predicted towards international institutions.

They found that people with higher levels of both these characteristics in their ideological outlook were less supportive of supranationalism, were more Eurosceptic, and found it more important that the UK 'takes back control'.

This manifested itself in a preference for 'prioritizing control' in any post-Brexit scenario among those with a negative attitude towards the concept of supranationalism. This included 'bringing back control of our laws to Parliament' and 'bringing back control of decisions over immigration to the UK'.

Another indicator was age, with older respondents also more likely to have a negative towards the concept of supranationalism.


Explore further

Did the Brexit referendum politically disengage women?

More information: Linus Peitz et al, The Psychology of Supranationalism: Its Ideological Correlates and Implications for EU Attitudes and post‐Brexit Preferences, Political Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/pops.12542
Provided by University of Kent
Citation: Brexit as much due to resistance to supranationalism as immigration (2019, February 12) retrieved 25 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-brexit-due-resistance-supranationalism-immigration.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments


Feb 19, 2019
Oh, What A Rotten Club

Brexit, what can one say
rotten to the core
rotten as the many wine lakes
butter mountains
and
best of all, the gravy train
the
final nail in the coffin
was
not migration, not the British sausage
non of these things
the definitive final blow
the Euro,
the Greeks hate it, the Germans dislike it, the Italians spaghettifi it
us Brits
even
Gordan Brown drew the line in the sand at the Euro
so did the British population
say
No to the Euro
so to all those remainer's
without the wine lakes, the gravy train, the Euro
to these remainer's, without all these things
take heart in your thoughts Oh remainer's
without all these things
if
the common market had remained just a free trade association
a club of no membership fees
to all those remainer's crying into their wine lakes
take heart in this fact
We would still be in this select Free Trade Association Club

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more