European Identity Politics

Aiginger, Karl and Handler, Heinz (2020) European Identity Politics. Applied Economics, 12 (2). pp. 1-23. ISSN 1948-5433

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0).

Download (789kB) | Preview


Social and political sciences use the term ‘identity’ in describing a wide range of phenomena, whether these be personal explanations of self-understanding, descriptions of common interests or the shared experiences of a larger group. It has been used in the recent analyses of countries or larger communities, but also in the historical studies of very different societies in developing or industrialized countries. To make the concept more operational and open to empirical research, we dichotomize it into an inclusive versus an exclusive type. This enables us to carve out the different policy conclusions associated with each type. We then apply the concepts for analysing the emergence of European identity over the past decades, as well as its limits and recent headwinds. We present survey data on national and supranational identity and country differences concerning trust in national and European institutions. As a counter-strategy to populism and the exclusive type of identity, political observers, from scientists to members of the media, are split into suggesting either a "cordon sanitaire" to discourage voting for such ideas versus an embracement strategy by including their representatives into government, thereby controlling them or revealing their incompetence. This paper, in contrast, ventures a proactive strategy of four steps to localize the root causes of the success of populism, offering an inclusive vision for the long run, policy instruments for economic improvements and a new narrative.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: identity politics, European integration, migration, renationalization, populism, European Green Deal, cultural homogeneity, partnership policy
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 09:31
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 09:31
Related URLs:


View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics