What to expect from European identity? Explaining support for solidarity in times of crisis
- 249 Downloads
Having a European identity is expected to influence citizens’ attitudes and behaviour towards the EU community. European identity is indeed positively related to support for EU integration, but are citizens with a stronger European identity also willing to pay a price for this identification, and to what extent? The contribution provides an answer to these questions by performing multilevel analyses on the EES 2014 data. The analyses show that citizens with a stronger European identity are more supportive of financial solidarity with member states in economic crisis. This explanation for support for solidarity is stronger than explanations provided by self-interest and economic ideological position. Citizens are thus willing to pay a price for their European identity. However, one can only expect so much from European identity as significant interaction effects show that the positive relationship between European identity and support for solidarity is mitigated by experiencing economic hardship.
KeywordsEuropean identity solidarity self-interest economic ideological position euro crisis
I would like to thank the researchers of the European Election Study 2014 for the data gathering and for making the data available for use, two anonymous reviewers and Joost de Moor for their valuable comments and the KU Leuven Research Council and Riksbankens Jubileumfond for research funding.
- Archer, M. 2013. Solidarity and governance, Extra Series 14. Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.Google Scholar
- Arnold, C., E.V. Sapir, and G. Zapryanova. 2012. Trust in the institutions of the European Union: A cross-country examination. European Integration online Papers 16(2).Google Scholar
- Auer, S. 2014. The limits of transnational solidarity and the Eurozone crisis in Germany, Ireland and Slovakia. Perspectives 15(3): 322–334.Google Scholar
- Balch, G.I. 1974. Multiple indicators in survey research: The concept “sense of political efficacy”. Political Methodology 1(2): 1–43.Google Scholar
- Bansak, K., M.M. Bechtel, J. Hainmueller, and Y. Margalit. 2016. The ideological basis of the Grexit debate. Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 16-9.Google Scholar
- Beramendi, P., and D. Stegmueller. 2016. The political geography of the Eurocrisis. Paper prepared for the workshop ‘Preferences over Redistribution’, Duke University. Google Scholar
- Bruter, M. 2008. Identity in the European union—Problems of measurement, modelling & paradoxical patterns of influence. Journal of Contemporary European Research 4(4): 273–285.Google Scholar
- Bundesregierung. 2011. Regierungserklärung: Merkel: Europa muss Stabilitätsunion werden’, Berlin, 26 October. Available at https://www.bundesregierung.de/ContentArchiv/DE/Archiv17/Artikel/2011/10/2011-10-26-merkel-regierungserklaerung-er-euro.html?nn=392660.
- Cinnirella, M. 1996. A social identity perspective on european integration. In Changing European identities: Social psychological analyses of social change, ed. G.M. Breakwell and E. Lyons, 253–274. Oxford: Butterworth-Heimann.Google Scholar
- Cramme, O., and S.B. Hobolt. 2015. Democratic politics in a European union under stress. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Eurostat. 2017a. GDP per capita in purchasing power standards. Retrieved from http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/setupDownloads.do.
- Eurostat. 2017b. Unemployment rates. Retrieved from http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=une_rt_a&lang=en.
- Fligstein, N. 2008. Euroclash: The EU, European identity and the future of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Grande, E., and H. Kriesi. 2015. The restructuring of political conflict in Europe and the politicization of European integration. In European public spheres. Politics is back, ed. T. Risse, 190–223. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hechter, M. 1988. Principles of group solidarity. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Herrmann, R.K., and M.B. Brewer. 2004. Identities and institutions: Becoming European in the EU. In Transnational identities: Becoming European in the EU, ed. R.K. Herrmann, T. Risse, and M.B. Brewer, 1–22. Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
- Hetherington, M. 2005. Why trust matters: Declining political trust and the demise of American liberalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Hix, S. 2008. What’s wrong with the European union and how to fix it. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Hobolt, S.B. 2015. Public attitudes towards the Euro crisis. In Democratic politics in a European union under stress, ed. O. Cramme and S.B. Hobolt, 48–66. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hox, J.J. 2010. Multilevel analysis: Techniques and applications. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kaina, V., and I.P. Karolewski. 2009. EU governance and European identity. Living Reviews in European Governance 4(2): 5–41.Google Scholar
- Kleider, H., and F. Stoeckel. 2016. Left-wing but unwilling to support international redistribution? Explaining public support for fiscal transfers in the EU. EUI working papers MWP2016/17. Google Scholar
- Kuhn, T., H. Solaz, and E. van Elsas. forthcoming. Practicing what you preach: How cosmopolitanism promotes willingness to redistribute transnationally. Journal of European Public Policy. Google Scholar
- Long, S.J. 1997. Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Popa, S.A., H. Schmitt, S.B. Hobolt, and E. Teperoglou. 2015. EES 2014 Voter Study Advance Release Notes. Mannheim: MZES, University of Mannheim.Google Scholar
- Rabe-Hesketh, S., and A. Skrondal. 2005. Multilevel and longitudinal modelling using Stata. College Station: Stata Press.Google Scholar
- Risse, T. 2010. A community of Europeans? Transnational identities and public spheres. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Scharpf, F.W. 2015. Political legitimacy in a non-optimal currency area. In Democratic politics in a European union under stress, ed. O. Cramme and S.B. Hobolt, 19–47. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schmitt, H., S.A. Popa, S.B. Hobolt, and E. Teperoglou. 2015. European Parliament Election Study 2014, Voter Study. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA5160 Data file Version 2.0.0.Google Scholar
- Stoeckel, F., and T. Kuhn. 2017. Mobilizing citizens for costly policies: the conditional effect of party cues on support for international bailouts in the European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies.Google Scholar
- Tajfel, H. 1981. Human groups and social categories. Studies in social psychology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Turner, J.C. 1982. Towards a cognitive redefinition of the social group. In Social identity and intergroup relations, ed. H. Tajfel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Verhaegen, S., and M. Hooghe. 2015. Does more knowledge about the European union lead to a stronger European identity? A comparative analysis among adolescents in 21 European member states. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 28(2): 127–146.Google Scholar