Conceptualisations of German national identity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Paul Pilger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, an analysis is undertaken of public discourse in relation to the COVID19 pandemic in Germany, with a view to identifying attitudes and approaches that can be seen as indicative of conceptualisations of German national identity. The following salient themes emerged from the analysis: (1) a strong commitment to the federal system of government, with significant and continuous efforts to maintain the effectiveness of the system; (2) a strong commitment to the rule of law in managing the federal system and in relation to public responses to the crisis; (3) a firm reliance on social cohesion and comprehensive state interventions, encapsulated in the word 'solidarity'; (4) a strong commitment to the European Union as the higher-level framework for the implementation of these principles; (5) a rational approach to the crisis and a commitment to minimising the impact of irrational reactions within society. In addition, despite Germany's relative success in managing the crisis, there was a marked absence of strong expressions of national pride in this achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Nation in the Time of the Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationMedia and Political Discourse Across Countries During the COVID-19 Crisis
EditorsFernando León Solís
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Cham
ISBN (Electronic)9783031566622
ISBN (Print)9783031566615, 9783031566646
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Jan 2024


  • culture
  • federalism
  • natoinal identity
  • nationalism
  • constitutionalism


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