The Economic Crisis and Political Conflict in Europe.

with Pablo Beramendi

How did political actors in the Eurozone react to the recent economic crisis? In this paper, we address this questions by presenting a simple model of political elites' preferences over scarce resources in unions where a common economic space co-exists with several political jurisdictions. We predict that an asymmetric crisis, that is a downturn with differential effects across regions, leads to an increase in conflicts between countries and a decrease of conflict within countries. To test this proposition, we make use of novel large-scale event data that chronicles almost 180,000 public interactions between more than 3500 actors. Using latent network models to create a spatial representation of these public interactions, we show that higher levels of unemployment reduce the conflict among political elites within countries. At the same time, conflict between politicians from different countries increases. Our findings speak to the literatures on political competition in times of crises, the consequences of the Great Recession, and the study of political phenomena using text as data.