Competition between States and the Historical Roots of Identity

Project summary

The goal of project B08 is to provide a historical, empirical foundation to the study of “identity politics”. We conceptualize identities as non-standard preferences, which can change due to the intervention by rational political actors. Identities of individuals are interdependent, can be shaped by group pressures as well as by external actors, and matter for individual decision-making.
Based on large-scale historical data work, project B08 investigates the formation and behavioral consequences of national identities in the 19th century. We also test recent hypotheses about the link between trade shocks and political outcomes in the context of the first globalization in the German Empire between 1880 and 1914. Finally, we study the dynamics of trust in journalism when individuals perceive a purported media bias and examine how individuals respond to campaigns that attempt to adjust their information set on policy-relevant issues.