On October 23, Dr. Elizabeth Radziszewski, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University, discussed “Social Networks and Public Support for the European Union” at The Institute of World Politics.
She explored the way in which unpopular political views arise through a case study she had done to discover why some villages in Poland voted against the EU Accession Referendum.
Through her field research, she found that much of the Euroskepticism in the region arose through the efforts of local community leaders. These leaders spread their views initially through personal interactions, where they used emotional arguments about preserving Poland’s sovereignty, and helped convince people that others in the community also shared their Euroskeptic views. Once several people in the community were convinced, others began to follow suit.
Dr. Radziszewski noted that this case study illustrates the importance of social networks and community leaders in shaping how people think about the European Union.
To purcahse Dr. Radziszewski’s book on this topic, please click here.
This lecture was sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies.