Books

Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe

Princeton University Press, 2020 (with Catherine E. De Vries)

Challenger parties are on the rise in Europe, exemplified by the likes of Podemos in Spain, the National Rally in France, the Alternative for Germany, or the Brexit Party in Great Britain. Like disruptive entrepreneurs, these parties offer new policies and defy the dominance of established party brands. In the face of these challenges and a more volatile electorate, mainstream parties are losing their grip on power. In this book, Catherine De Vries and Sara Hobolt explore why some challenger parties are so successful and what mainstream parties can do to confront these political entrepreneurs.


Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress

Oxford University Press, 2014 (edited with Olaf Cramme)

This book offers the first comprehensive political analysis of the Euro crisis that erupted in Greece in 2010 and subsequently threatened the very survival of the Euro area. It has left a profound mark on democratic politics all over Europe, changing public attitudes and voting preferences, institutional and societal norms, and deeply anchored political traditions.

Blaming Europe? Responsibility Without Accountability in the European Union

Oxford University Press, 2014 (with James Tilley)

This book presents the first comprehensive account of how citizens assign blame to the EU, how politicians and the media attempt to shift blame and finally, how it matters for electoral democracy. Based on rich and unique data sources, Blaming Europe? shows that when citizens hold the EU responsible for poor performance, but are unable to sanction an EU incumbent, they lose trust in the EU as a whole instead. In conclusion, it argues that this ‘accountability deficit’ has significant implications for the future of the European Union.

Europe in Question: Referendums on European Integration

Oxford University Press, 2009

Awarded the prize for the Best Book published in 2009 or 2010 by the European Union Studies Association (EUSA)

This book explains how voters decide in referendums on European integration. It develops a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding referendum behaviour and presents a comparative analysis of EU referendums from 1972 to 2008. To examine why people vote the way they do, the role of political elites and the impact of the campaign dynamics, this books relies on a variety of sources including survey data, content analysis of media coverage, experimental studies, and elite interviews. The book illustrates the importance of campaign dynamics and elite endorsements in shaping public opinion, electoral mobilization and vote choices and importantly shows that voters are smarter than they are often given credit for.