The European Identity Survey – a Bridge between Political Science and Psychology

Sybille Luhmann


At the heart of this article is the question of how we can measure European identity more accurately to answer some of the fundamental questions that are starting to emerge in times of populism and disintegration: is there a single European identity? Or are there many? In order to do so, the article first summarises the dominant discourse on collective identities in political science literature, before gauging insights from psychological approaches. Subsequently, new methods of measurement that bridge both fields are considered. Finally, all three are combined into a comprehensive and interdisciplinary European Identity Survey. This survey is designed to construct a multi-dimensional index on civic and cultural European identity. Rather than assuming some answers to be ‘more European’ than others, it gauges the convergence of different groups along multiple dimensions that are considered to constitute an identity. In doing so, the paper endeavours not only to introduce a new way of measuring European identity but also to contribute to analysis on the assumed growing polarisation of identity narratives and its societal and political implications.


European identity; survey methodology; Implicit Association Test; attitudes

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