European Identity Politics

Posted: 14 Oct 2020

See all articles by Karl Aiginger

Karl Aiginger

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Heinz Handler

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO); Vienna University of Technology - Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON); Austrian Federal Chancellery - Verwaltungsakademie des Bundes

Date Written: June 1, 2020

Abstract

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. 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 populist headwinds. This paper 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. These concepts are linked to the strategy of the European Commission of a Green Deal and a Social Europe "striving for more”, which acts as a program to strengthen the inclusive European identity and pre-empt the renationalization requested by the exclusive type. The differences in the initial reactions of countries to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, bashing foreign sources for its creation and misusing the crisis for restoring autocratic leadership on the one hand and looking for solidarity on the national as well as international level on the other, may be attributed to the concepts of exclusion versus inclusion.

Keywords: : identity politics, European integration, migration, renationalization, populism, European Green Deal, cultural homogeneity, partnership policy

JEL Classification: D70, F15, F52, Z13

Suggested Citation

Aiginger, Karl and Handler, Heinz J., European Identity Politics (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3710470

Karl Aiginger

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) ( email )

P.O. Box 91
Wien, A-1103
Austria

Heinz J. Handler (Contact Author)

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) ( email )

P.O. Box 91
Arsenal 20
Vienna, A-1103
Austria
+43 1 79826010 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wifo.ac.at

Vienna University of Technology - Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON) ( email )

Wiedner Hauptstraße 8/105-3
Vienna, 1040
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.tuwien.ac.at

Austrian Federal Chancellery - Verwaltungsakademie des Bundes ( email )

Mauerbachstrasse 43-45
Vienna, A-1140
Austria

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