Conflicting and reinforcing identities in expanding Europe: Individual- and country-level factors shaping national and European identities, 1995-2003

Markus Hadler*, Kiyoteru Tsutsui, Lynn G. Chin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines how, within the context of the expansion of the European Union, various multi-level factors circumscribe individuals' national and European identity. Focusing on the differential impact of new opportunities that Europeanization offers to people with different backgrounds, we propose hypotheses regarding the effects of individuals' geopolitical, ethnic, class, and national historical backgrounds on their national and European identity. Drawing on theories on sociopolitical identities, we hypothesize that minorities are more likely to identify with the European Union, but are less likely to identify with their nation and that more local lower-level geopolitical attachments can enhance broader higher-level ones. We also combine these individual-level arguments with macro-level theories and examine the impact of country-level factors such as having a communist past, the duration of EU participation, and the levels of economic development and international integration. We test these hypotheses using ISSP survey data from 15 European countries for the years 1995 and 2003. Overall, the results support our predictions about minorities' identification patterns and about the reinforcing relationships between local and macro identities in general. Our macro-level analyses indicate different effects in postcommunist nations than in Western-democratic states, indicating widespread disillusionment with the European Union in postcommunist countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-418
Number of pages27
JournalSociological Forum
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

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