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Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

The Effect of the Economic Crisis on European Identity: A Question of Benefits?

European Politics
 
European Union
 
Identity
 
Presenter
Marta Parades
Universidad Autònoma de Madrid – Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos del CSIC
Authors
Marta Parades
Universidad Autònoma de Madrid – Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos del CSIC

Abstract
When the economic crisis started in the US in 2008, few people could foresee how far its impact would go. In this regard, economic consequences have come accompanied by political consequences and the European project is being questioned by the public opinion because of the current economic crisis. Although it seems like the worst of the economic crisis is behind us, European leaders have failed to prevent a growing disaffection among citizens, even in countries with a long pro-European tradition such as Southern Europe countries. However, it is not clear if there is also an effect of the economic crisis on European identity. This adverse situation challenges the legitimacy of the EU and causes debates about the future of Europe where the European Identity may be a key factor. The study of changes (or their absence) in European identity becomes an interesting research topic due to its connection with support for the European project and legitimacy of European institutions. For these reasons, this work examines if there is an effect of the economic crisis on European identity. This adverse context allows me to test not only for variations, but also the strength of the classical explanatory factors on European identity. Is the role of instrumental factors more important in times of economic crisis? Or did we shift towards a more political crisis where institutional factors gain presence? This paper tackles these questions with survey data from the Eurobarometer.
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