Germany as Good European: National Atonement and Performing Europeanness in the Eurovision Song Contest

  • Alison LewisEmail author


The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) can serve as a powerful vehicle for cultural diplomacy. This chapter argues that Germany uses the contest to disavow a distinctly German form of national identity, to craft a post-national identity and to embrace ideas of European citizenship. This manifests itself in the idea of Germany as a ‘Good European’ both in the context of the EU and NATO and the ESC. Germany has used a discrete style of nation-branding through the history of its participation in the ESC, and seeks to be a ‘good sport’ in the competition when it loses. In return, the ESC offers ample opportunity for Europe to either affirm or deny Germany’s self-image as the Good European, through voting and placings.


Eurovision Song Contest German national identity European identity Cultural diplomacy Germany’s role in Europe 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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