Perceptions of Europe presents the main findings of a comparative qualitative survey conducted in France, Germany, Italy, and Poland. Ordinary citizens from very different social backgrounds and professions were asked a range of open-ended questions, allowing them to express themselves freely. There have been few qualitative surveys on ordinary citizens views of European integration, and ne on this scale. The resulting picture is very different from the self-evident assumptions of many current studies on European opinions. The book stresses the great diversity, ambiguity, and complexity of European attitudes. It emphasises the causal impact of formal education, political interest and involvement, individual everyday exposures to 'European' realities, and the role of collective national experiences of European integration and national history.
Daniel Gaxie is a political sociologist and Professor of political science at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. He has conducted extensive research on political participation, attitudes and behaviour, elites, institutions and public policies. As well as his involvement in the INTUNE and Eurelites projects he is known for his book Le cens cache, first published in 1978. Nicolas Hube is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Deputy-Dean of the Political Science Department at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. As well as his involvement in the INTUNE project, his research interests include the use and misuse of polls in political life and communication in EU institutions. He has published in Perspectives on European Politics and Society. Jay Rowell is a full-time researcher in sociology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and director of the Centre for European Political Sociology (GSPE) at the University of Strasbourg. His research focuses in particular on disability policy and the uses of statistical instruments in the European polity. He has recently published with A. Campana and E. Henry, La construction des problemes publics en Europe, Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2007 and with M. Mangenot, A political sociology of Europe: Reassessing Constructivism, Manchester University Press, 2010.