The introductory chapter presents the empirical puzzle and the research questions guiding the book: According to Deutsch’s transactionalist theory, European institution building generates increased cross-border interactions which in turn help foster a common identity and EU support. Why, then, do we observe rather low levels of European identification and EU membership support in the face of increased transnational interactions and mobility? Transactionalist theory and its reception in scholarly research are discussed. The chapter introduces the main argument of the book. It further emphasizes the theoretical and empirical relevance of the questions asked, and discusses broader implications with respect to the current theoretical debate and policy making. Finally, the chapter lays out the plan of the book.
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