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A crisis in Europe or Europe in crisis? The effect of citizens’ evaluation of recent European crises on national and European identity, and support for populist parties.

Units : Center for Social and Cultural Psychology | ULB103

Description :

PhD student: Kathleen Massart, Université de Gand - Promotor: Prof. Alain Van Hiel (Université de Gand) - Co-promotor: Jasper
Van Assche.

In recent years, Europe encountered several crises, starting with the financial crisis in 2008, followed by the migration crisis
in 2013, and currently it’s facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the motto ‘Never waste a good crisis’, we want to
investigate the impact of these European crises on citizens’ identification with the EU and the national level. Moreover, many studies
revealed a positive association between political discontent and voting for populist parties, and we expect that discontent with the
performance of governments with respect to crisis management may have similar effects. We are particularly interested in the
interaction between the two governance levels and if one level can have a positive influence on the other, or conversely, can take the
other level down. We hypothesize that identification with Europe will prevent people to fall for populist party programs which
are mostly Eurosceptic and nationalistic. On the other hand, we expect that a strong identification with the national level and a
disidentification with the EU or a disidentification with both levels, will make people more attracted to the populist discourse.

List of persons in charge :

  • VAN ASSCHE Jasper