An experimental exploration of diffuse and specific public support for the EU in the Czech Republic
As populism is becoming more widespread across Europe public support for political systems has moved to the forefront of public debates. One type of public support—diffuse support—is important for political systems because it provides a source of stability in times of crisis. The existing research on political support in nation-states shows that public support for the political community of the nation tends to be diffuse, while public support for other parts of the political system less so. Is there, like in nation-states, diffuse support for the political community of the European Union? This article argues that there is, and using data from a survey experiment in the Czech Republic finds that support for the political community of the EU is significantly more diffuse than support for the EU’s institutions or incumbents. Public support for the political community of the EU thus serves the EU as a source of stability in times of crisis.