Regional Manufacturing Composition and Political (Dis)content in Europe

Anders Ejrnæs, Mads Dagnis Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article examines the relationship between changes in manufacturing employment and political discontent in European regions, using a multilevel hybrid model and data from the European Social Survey and European Commission. The analysis reveals that within regions, a decrease in manufacturing jobs leads to greater political discontent, but this relationship is not observed when comparing variation in manufacturing levels across regions. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates that this discontent manifests more as dissatisfaction with the government, rather than distrust in political institutions and actors. Native-born, lower social classes and individuals living in rural areas display more discontent, even after considering material factors. The study highlights the role of declining social status and identity threats due to manufacturing job losses as a likely driver of political discontent. It calls for more research on the effects of manufacturing transitions in Europe on the formation of political attitudes among various social groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1536-1564
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Published online: 03 January 2024


  • Political discontent
  • Europe
  • Manufacturing decline
  • Regions
  • Public opinion

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