The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Do you think your culture is superior to that of people elsewhere? Across Europe, that question is answered with a remarkable degree of variation.
Hotbeds of chauvinisim
Greek protesters brandishing the national flag. Image source: Getty
In eight of the 33 countries recently surveyed by the Pew Research Center, at least two thirds of the respondents said they believe their culture is superior to those of other nations. All eight are in Eastern Europe.
- Greece (89%)
- Georgia (85%)
- Armenia (84%)
- Russia (69%)
- Bulgaria (69%)
- Bosnia (68%)
- Romania (66%)
- Serbia (65%)
Cultural chauvinism is about equally strong in a string of Balkan countries (Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania) and Russia. Caucasian neighbours Georgia and Armenia take it up a notch to well over 80 percent, but nobody touches the Greeks — nine out of ten think theirs is a superior culture.
Not related to economic performance
The Norwegian capital Oslo by night. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Oil-rich Norway is the first Western European country on the list. But feelings of cultural superiority are not necessarily related to a country's economic performance, as both Europe's richest and poorest country produce the same result: exactly half of all respondents in Switzerland and Moldova agreed with Pew Research proposition.
- Norway (58%)
- Czech Republic (55%)
- Poland (55%)
- Switzerland (50%)
- Moldova (50%)
A more 'western' middle
A ceremonial uniform, British military medals, and a memorial poppy. Image source: Getty
A plurality of the countries surveyed —13 out of 33 — score in the 40s. This far down the list, a preponderance of them is Western (8) rather than Eastern (5), if we follow the Cold War definition (i.e. Finland 'Western', Croatia 'Eastern').
- Finland (49%)
- Italy (47%)
- Austria (47%)
- Portugal (47%)
- UK (46%)
- Hungary (46%)
- Germany (45%)
- Denmark (44%)
- Slovakia (44%)
- Croatia (44%)
- Ireland (42%)
- Belarus (42%)
- Ukraine (41%)
Spanish fan watching a soccer game. Image source: Getty
There is a remarkable geographical consistency at the lower end of the scale, with the three Baltic states notably underperforming versus their more chauvinistic neighbours.
Another region characterised by low-energy chauvinism stretches from the Netherlands over Belgium and France into Spain
- Latvia (38%)
- Lithuania (37%)
- France (36%)
- Netherlands (31%)
- Sweden (26%)
- Belgium (23%)
- Estonia (23%)
- Spain (20%)
Some neighbouring countries have a remarkable degree of variation. Last-placed Spain is less than half as chauvinistic as Portugal. The gap is even wider between Sweden and its much more confident neighbour Norway.
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Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.