Historical Social Research

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Lars VogelMaintaining the Permissive Consensus in Times of Crises: The Europeanness of Germany’s Political Elites, 2007-2014. [Abstract]

Germany’s political elites have shared a ‘permissive consensus’ (Hooghe and Marks 2008) in support of European integration both before and during the global financial and economic crisis, as well as the subsequent Eurocrisis. Their Europeanness encompasses five independent dimensions: general support, trust in EU institutions, ideological aims and cultural boundaries of European integration, and the means of integration (intergovernmental or federal conceptions and policy delegation to the European level). This permissive consensus has not dissolved in the course of the crises and is strongest in terms of general support and trust, while some minor party differences exist regarding the socioeconomic aims, cultural boundaries and means of European integration. This stability is explained by Germany’s dominant economic position in Europe and the marked absence of strong Eurosceptic parties in domestic politics during the period of investigation. Nevertheless, some adjustments with regard to the means of European integration occurred as a result of the empowerment of Germany’s political elites during the crises.

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