Type: Working Paper
Shared identity in crisis: a comparative study of support for the EU in the face of the Russian threat
Working Paper, EUI, RSC, Working Paper, 2023/48, The European Governance and Politics Programme
SCHULTE-CLOOS, Julia, DRAŽANOVÁ, Lenka, Shared identity in crisis: a comparative study of support for the EU in the face of the Russian threat, EUI, RSC, Working Paper, 2023/48, The European Governance and Politics Programme - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75845
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Social identity theory suggests that an external threat, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, can increase identification with a group and foster a shared sense of identity. While initial research has shown that the shock of Russian aggression positively affects support for the European Union (EU) among European citizens on average, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of how variation in threat perceptions relates to identity-based support for the EU. Using survey data from 16 countries collected just five weeks after the invasion, we show an increase in identity-related EU support among those most concerned about the Russian threat. By applying machine learning techniques and a causal forest algorithm, we further reveal the heterogeneity of this relationship. Individuals with an exclusive national identity, who otherwise express little sense of pride in belonging to the EU, register a much larger increase in European identification in response to the Russian threat. Notably, this effect is particularly pronounced among respondents from Central and Eastern Europe. By highlighting that even individuals with an exclusive national identity can be swayed to feel attached to the EU in times of crisis, our study contributes to understanding the complex nature of identity-based support for the EU.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75845
Series/Number: EUI; RSC; Working Paper; 2023/48; The European Governance and Politics Programme
Publisher: European University Institute
Keyword(s): European identification Exclusive national identity Public support for the EU Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 Threat perceptions
Sponsorship and Funder information:
This research has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 885026).