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National Identity and the Commitment to Common Goods I

Mikael Hjerm

The relationship between European Union and its nation states is still one of dependency: The European Union consists of them and draws its legitimacy form their citizens. We will examine how cross-country variation in national identities affects the legitimacy of nation states within the European Union: does national identity support/hinder the maintenance of national institutions? This is especially important when it comes to attitudinal support for contributions to the "common" like taxation and redistribution. The aim of the presentation is to join different research traditions of political philosophy, rational choice theories and national identity theories in order to examine if cross country differences in national identity can explain individual's support or lack of support for welfare state programs and how national identity corresponds to identification with the European Union. Does national identity carry on some kind of value consensus and does that help to overcome national collective good problems?The analysis is based on multilevel analysis technique to take different group memberships into account. Data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 1995 2003) and the ESS are taken to test how national identities influence attitudes towards reallocation and taxation on the level of the European Union's nation states.

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