Instrumental Goals Shape EU Citizens’ Attitudes to the Russia-Ukraine War Over Time

Kyriaki Fousiani*, Jan-Willem Van Prooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

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The European Union (EU) legislation suggests that EU member states progressively adopt and implement policies that are primarily in line with the broader European interests, and secondarily with specific national interests. Yet, citizens from various EU member-states often oppose these EU directives and adopt attitudes that favor national or individual interests. The current study investigates whether EU citizens progressively comply with – or digress from – EU directives during the Russia-Ukraine war. In a two-wave study we investigated the role of instrumental reasons (i.e., maximization of material gain) to cooperate with Russia in Greeks’ (an EU member state) compliance with the EU directives over time during the Russia-Ukraine war. We hypothesized and found that instrumental reasons to cooperate with Russia a) encourage EU citizens to support digressing from EU directives and b) predict decreased identification with the superordinate identity of EU and NATO over time. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-573
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date1-Aug-2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2023


  • Instrumental goals
  • compliance with EU
  • Europeanization
  • Ukraine-Russia war
  • superordinate identity
  • war-related reactions

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