External Threat, Group Identity, and Support for Common Policies - The Effect of the Russian Invasion in Ukraine on European Union Identity

59 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020

See all articles by Kai Gehring

Kai Gehring

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy; Heidelberg University; CESifo

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

A major theory from social psychology claims that external threats can strengthen group identities and cooperation. This paper exploits the Russian invasion in Ukraine 2014 as a sudden increase in the perceived military threat for eastern European Union member states, in particular for the Baltic countries bordering Russia directly. Comparing low versus high-threat member states in a difference-in-differences design, I find a sizeable positive effect on EU identity. It is associated with higher trust in EU institutions and support for common EU policies. Different perceptions of the invasion cause a polarization of preferences between the majority and ethnic Russian minorities.

Keywords: external threats, group identity, nation-building, trust, fiscal federalism, European Union, EU identity, Russia, Ukraine, Baltic

JEL Classification: D700, F500, H700, N440, Z100

Suggested Citation

Gehring, Kai, External Threat, Group Identity, and Support for Common Policies - The Effect of the Russian Invasion in Ukraine on European Union Identity (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8061, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3528995

Kai Gehring (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland
+4917620916056 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kai-gehring.net

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
247
PlumX Metrics