Perceptions of German Leadership Irish National Identity and Germany as a “Significant Other” during the Euro Crisis

Charlotte Galpin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines perceptions of Germany in Ireland during the Euro crisis. It explores debates about a “normalization” of Germany's role in Europe and its European identity, calling for a focus on external perceptions of Germany as key to understanding the extent to which Germany is viewed as “normal” from the outside. Through a presentation of findings from qualitative analysis of political speeches and newspaper articles, it shows that perceptions of Germany are filtered through discourses on Irish national identity that place Irish economic interests and national sovereignty at the heart of Irish engagement in the EU. Whereas Irish leaders argue in favor of further integration as a means to regain economic sovereignty, opposition actors and the conservative press see Germany as exercising economic control of Europe. The Irish case demonstrates that Germany's past continues to shape the way in which its leadership in Europe is perceived from the outside.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-24
Number of pages18
JournalGerman Politics and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Euro crisis
  • European identity
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • normalization
  • political and media discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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