The Eurozone Crisis : Psychological Mechanisms Undermining and Supporting European Solidarity

Faculty/Professorship: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Reese, Gerhard; Lauenstein, Oliver
Title of the Journal: Social Sciences : open access journal
ISSN: 2076-0760
Publisher Information: Basel : MDPI
Year of publication: 2014
Volume: 3
Pages: 160-171
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 3.0 International 
DOI: 10.3390/socsci3010160
Europe has become a vivid example of intergroup dynamics with all the risks and chances it holds for peaceful and respectful co-existence. While Europe as a superordinate social category has the capability of solidarity between its subcategories (i.e., nations), negative emotions and behaviors among the countries’ citizens have become more prevalent throughout the emerging crisis. This article aims to analyze the psychological outcomes (i.e., negative attitudes) following on from the structural and economic imbalances within the European Union. More precisely, we argue that political reactions towards the Euro crisis facilitated routes to nationalism and thereby fostered supremacy in a few countries. This perceived supremacy of some countries, in turn, legitimized negative reactions towards others. Based on predictions from a social identity perspective, we describe how these processes perpetuate themselves. We also suggest strategies that might prevent the idea of a common Europe from failing.
Keywords: the euro crisis; intergroup behavior; prototypicality; negative attitudes; social identity
Type: Article
Year of publication: 27. June 2014