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Prisoners of the Past: Narratives of Victimhood and Cooperation in the EU

Dates:
  • Tue 29 May 2018 16.00 - 18.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-05-29 16:00 2018-05-29 18:00 Europe/Paris Prisoners of the Past: Narratives of Victimhood and Cooperation in the EU

Does the narrative of a country’s role in history affect its propensity for cooperation with other countries? Research in psychology, behavioral economics, and conflict studies suggests it might. In particular, a mindset that results from a perceived intentional harm against one’s own group in the past ‘a sense of collective victimhood’ has been shown to instill a sense of entitlement and reduce trust in other groups. Once the experience of victimhood becomes part of a country’s collective historical narrative, it can reduce cooperative behavior even beyond the direct experience and vis-a-vis groups other than the perpetrator. The objective of the present study is to introduce research on victimhood narratives to the field of International Relations and EU studies by asking if and under what conditions collective victimhood narratives impair a country’s propensity for international cooperation. Specifically, the study focuses on cooperative behavior in the context of he EU’s Council of Ministers, and asks whether the exposure of negotiators to a victimhood narrative might reduce their willingness to offer non-specific unconditional concessions to their cooperating partners. To explore this question, the project intends to conduct a survey experiment with alumni of the College of Europe, a subject pool that is by and large representative for EU elites engaged in everyday decision-making at the EU level. The present paper is a proposal for a research design. Mareike Kleine is interested in feedback about the research design and the specific survey questions.

A small cocktail will follow the seminar.

Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia

Does the narrative of a country’s role in history affect its propensity for cooperation with other countries? Research in psychology, behavioral economics, and conflict studies suggests it might. In particular, a mindset that results from a perceived intentional harm against one’s own group in the past ‘a sense of collective victimhood’ has been shown to instill a sense of entitlement and reduce trust in other groups. Once the experience of victimhood becomes part of a country’s collective historical narrative, it can reduce cooperative behavior even beyond the direct experience and vis-a-vis groups other than the perpetrator. The objective of the present study is to introduce research on victimhood narratives to the field of International Relations and EU studies by asking if and under what conditions collective victimhood narratives impair a country’s propensity for international cooperation. Specifically, the study focuses on cooperative behavior in the context of he EU’s Council of Ministers, and asks whether the exposure of negotiators to a victimhood narrative might reduce their willingness to offer non-specific unconditional concessions to their cooperating partners. To explore this question, the project intends to conduct a survey experiment with alumni of the College of Europe, a subject pool that is by and large representative for EU elites engaged in everyday decision-making at the EU level. The present paper is a proposal for a research design. Mareike Kleine is interested in feedback about the research design and the specific survey questions.

A small cocktail will follow the seminar.


Location:
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia

Affiliation:
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Department of Political and Social Sciences
Max Weber Programme

Type:
Research seminar

Organiser:
Federico Romero (EUI - HEC)
Professor Ulrich Krotz (EUI - RSCAS and SPS)
Richard Maher (EUI - RSCAS)

Speaker:
Dr Mareike Kleine (London School of Economics and RSCAS Jean Monet Fellow)

Contact:
Naïs Ralaison - Send a mail
 
 
 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017