Quotation Aiginger, Karl, Handler, Heinz. 2020. European Identity Politics. Research in Applied Economics. 12 (2), 1-23.




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.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Research in Applied Economics
Language English
Title European Identity Politics
Volume 12
Number 2
Year 2020
Page from 1
Page to 23
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341780742_European_Identity_Politics
DOI https://doi.org/10.5296/rae.v12i2.16841
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341780742_European_Identity_Politics
JEL identity politics, European integration, migration


Aiginger, Karl (Details)
Handler, Heinz (Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Austria)
Department of Economics DP (Details)
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