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Economic Nationalism and the European Union: The case of the automobile industry

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European economics and nationalism

Certain practices to establish, strengthen and safeguard the European economy in the context of world markets have sparked debate. Thanks to EU funding, researchers were able to explore this relationship between economics and nationalism.

Climate Change and Environment

A growing trend towards European economic nationalism has resulted in its resurgence as a discipline. This has led scholars to look at new perspectives beyond the conventional concepts in studying the field. Still others have shifted the focus to the wider notion of economic patriotism — the need for consumers and private or public entities to keep jobs and capital in their country. The 'Economic nationalism and the European Union: The case of the automobile industry' (ECONAT) project built on these approaches to offer an initial systematic mapping of the discipline. Project activities focused on the rise of European economic patriotism. A case study analysis of the automotive industry served as a basis. It investigated whether such a rise in this particular sector was necessitated by intra-corporate competition involving American, Asian and European multinational firms' subsidiaries. Researchers looked at economic nationalism from an industrial relations perspective. They explored the function of European works councils — bodies that represent EU employees at a company — in multinational automotive corporations. Findings were published in a leading European journal. Project efforts later led to the study of 'economic Europeanness' as a broad notion. The focus was on analysing the growth of marketing and advertising tools to promote economic nationalism. Efforts also concentrated on examining the argument for the European social model. In 2013, a workshop was held to complement these outcomes. A second workshop during the same year gathered current findings and analysed the topic of economic nationalism. It also dealt with long-term variations in the connection between economic nationhood and other types of economic cultures. ECONAT presented the academic and research world with an extensive survey of economic nationhood in its different forms. This was achieved in a more systematic way than ever before. The project hopes to narrow the gap that exists between historical and modern studies in the discipline.


Economics, nationalism, European economy, economic nationalism, economic patriotism, automobile industry, industrial relations, European social model, economic nationhood, economic cultures

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