Pictures of Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform, the burning of 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 current and recent crises confront 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. This book brings together scholars who examine the nexus between (economic) crisis, national identities and the use of historical images, and prejudices and stereotypes, by focusing particularly on media and political discourses in different European countries. In addition to detailed empirical discussions covering diverse national settings across Europe, the different contributions 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. This book was originally published as a Special Issue of National Identities.
Aline Sierp is Assistant Professor in European Studies at Maastricht University, Netherlands. Before joining Maastricht University, Aline Sierp worked as researcher at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Her research interests cover collective memory, questions of identity and European integration. She is the author of History, Memory and Trans-European Identity: Unifying Divisions (Routledge, 2014) and the Founder and Co-President of the Memory Studies Association.
Christian Karner is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has published widely within urban sociology, nationalism, and ethnicity studies. Christian has previously held a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship, and has been a research associate at the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, USA. His books include Ethnicity and Everyday Life (2007), Negotiating National Identities (2011), The Use and Abuse of Memory (2013), The Commonalities of Global Crises (2016), and National Identity and Europe in Times of Crisis (2017).
Introduction: National stereotypes in the context of the European crisis
Aline Sierp and Christian Karner
1. A Narrative Battle: Debating Finland's EU policy during the Economic Crisis
2. 'Between a Rock and A Hard Place': Bulgarian Highly Skilled Migrants' Experiences of External and Internal Stereotypes in the Context of the European Crisis
3. A nation under attack: Perceptions of victimhood and enmity in the context of the Greek crisis
Zinovia Lialiouti and Giorgos Bithymitris
4. Feeling the pulse of the Greek debt crisis: Affect on the web of blame
Tereza Capelos and Theofanis Exadaktylos
5. "The Germans are back": Euroscepticism and anti-Germanism in crisis-striken Greece
6. Pictorial stereotypes and images in the Euro debt crisis
Horst-Alfred Heinrich and Bernhard Stahl
7. Imag(in)ing the Eurocrisis: a comparative analysis of political cartoons
Matti Van Hecke
Christian Karner and Aline Sierp