Dividing united Europe. Stereotypes, prejudices and the European (economic) crisis

Aline Sierp (Editor), Christian Karner (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issueAcademicpeer-review


This special issue brings together scholars who examine the nexus between the (economic) crisis, national identities and the use of historical images, prejudices and stereotypes by focusing particularly on media and political discourses in different European countries.
Pictures of Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform, burning German flags, newspaper articles portraying Southern Europe as work-shy and Northern Europe as tight-fisted: The eurozone crisis has thrown up old stereotypes, often digging into well-established historical images of ‘the other’. The conscious or tacit (ab)use of national prejudices by politicians and parts of the media and the strong emotional reactions among European citizens have caused a lot of public concern about the likely negative implications of such reawakening of national clichés and the newly hardening boundaries they construct for the process of European integration. It is evident that the current crisis confronts European citizens with profound dilemmas, which they seek to make sense of and in response to which much new political mobilisation takes place. At the same time, some of the interpretative and political reactions thus generated also have the potential to become very destructive processes putting into question years of integration efforts.
By gathering researchers from universities in the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Greece with different disciplinary backgrounds (political science, anthropology, history, media studies, sociology), the aim of the special issue is to examine the topic from the widest possible angle. In addition to detailed empirical discussions covering diverse national settings across Europe (see below), the different contributions and the introduction by the guest editors discuss and offer a variety of conceptual and methodological approaches within the inter-disciplinary study of national identities, prejudice and stereotyping in the context of socio-economic and political crises.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNational Identities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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