Aston Centre for Europe PhD Candidate Wins Best Paper Prize

Ioanna Ntampoudi, PhD candidate at the Aston Centre for Europe, was awarded a Best Paper Prize by the Political Studies Association’s Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) for her paper entitled ‘The Eurozone Crisis and the Politics of Blaming: Narratives, Identities and Discursive Patterns’, which was presented at the 6th LSE Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus. The biennial symposium took place at the European Institute at the London School of Economics on the 6th and 7th of June 2013, where the prize was announced by Professor Kevin Featherstone, the director of the Hellenic Observatory. The award was accompanied by a grant of £150 and featured on all GPSG publicity materials, such as Newsletter and Twitter, as well as the Political Studies Association’s online and printed publications. Finally, Ioanna’s paper was published as part of the GPSG’s working paper series in September 2013.  The content of the paper is described in the following abstract:

The present paper wishes to investigate the public discourse that surrounds the Eurozone crisis and its management, in search for an understanding of the cultural politics that have characterised it. By the means of a critical discourse analysis of media and elite rhetoric, the various ways that both German and Greek citizens, are constructed as prototypical representatives of Core Europe and Periphery Europe, respectively, will be explored. Furthermore, the ways that both Germans and Greeks are represented as distinct ‘nations’ and monolithic ‘cultures’ and constructed as either malicious ‘villains’ or innocent ‘victims’ will be analysed and questioned. The analysis shall exemplify two main tendencies, namely the trend towards essentialisms and the pattern of binary oppositions. As will be concluded, these two linguistic and intellectual tendencies are intimately involved in an on-going process of identity formation with significant political implications, particularly for the distinctly normative conceptions of national and European identities. As a second layer, reflections and speculations will be offered regarding the psychological dynamics behind these tendencies by looking for insights inside social psychological perspectives, such as social identity theory, including social categorization theory, and social representations theory. These applications will reveal the political potential of these specific perspectives and the contribution of social psychology to political science.

Ioanna presented her paper at various conferences, including the 3rd JMCE Manchester Conference, the UACES Student Forum Conference 2013 and the German Politics Specialist Group’s Annual Workshop. A link to the paper itself can be found here:


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