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The Eurozone Crisis: Psychological Mechanisms Undermining and Supporting European Solidarity


  • Gerhard Reese

    () (Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development (INSIDE), University of Luxemburg, Route de Diekirch, Walferdange 7201, Luxemburg)

  • Oliver Lauenstein

    () (Department of Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, University of Bamberg, Markusplatz 3, Bamberg 96047, Germany)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhard Reese & Oliver Lauenstein, 2014. "The Eurozone Crisis: Psychological Mechanisms Undermining and Supporting European Solidarity," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-12, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:3:y:2014:i:1:p:160-171:d:33851

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emmanuel Sigalas, 2010. "Cross-border mobility and European identity: The effectiveness of intergroup contact during the ERASMUS year abroad," European Union Politics, , vol. 11(2), pages 241-265, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerhard Reese & Julia Dietrich, 2014. "I Am Therefore I Do: Group Identification and Effort for the Achievement Goals," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-7, November.

    More about this item


    the euro crisis; intergroup behavior; prototypicality; negative attitudes; social identity;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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