EU Horizon 2020 Project: The Future of European Social Citizenship (EUSOCIALCIT)
The EU-funded project “The Future of European Social Citizenship” (EUSOCIALCIT) explores alternative policy measures to strengthen European social citizenship. Six teams in Europe are developing a resource-based, multi-level concept of social rights at EU, national and local levels. In addition, the project identifies the weak points of the institutions and examines the attitudes of the citizens. By analyzing current realities and alternative policy options, the project will provide new indicators and feasibility studies on social investment, working conditions, minimum income protection and housing.
Together with Prof. Brian Burgoon from the University of Amsterdam, the team in Konstanz develops a new database with country indicators for social civil rights. Furthermore, the team reviews, consolidates and valorises existing large-scale quantitative research on the perceptions, attitudes and preferences of EU citizens concerning social rights, and enriches this research by means of focus groups in several EU countries. The focus groups help to deepen the understanding of citizens’ perceptions about, attitudes towards, and demands regarding European social citizenship.
Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Brian Burgoon und Prof. Dr. Marius Busemeyer
Project researcher: Gianna Maria Eick
Digitalization, Automation and the Future of Work in Post-Industrial Welfare States
Whether and to what extent the digital economy will qualitatively change labor markets and welfare states is a hotly debated question. The digital transformation will certainly result in large pay-offs. What marks it will leave on social inequality depends on how these pay-offs will be (re-)distributed. We are looking into the political struggles about this distribution, and study the real effects of technological change on the labor market. Furthermore, we are interested in the consequences for policy-making in the domains of education, labor market and social policies.
Aims and Central Research Question
We aim to understand how politics, society and businesses interact to adapt to the social, economic and political challenges of digitalization and automation. Technological changes are in the process of transforming work as we know it, with important consequences for social inequality.
We investigate to what extent the digital transformation of work is perceived as a threat or opportunity by workers, citizens, policy-makers and businesses. We analyze the demands, expectations and behavior of political actors concerning the regulation of technological change. And we look into their stances with regard to labor market, education, and social policy reforms.
Inequality Barometer: A Repeated Representative Opinion Survey on Inequality and Social Mobility
The link between inequality, intergenerational mobility and support for public policies, has been much investigated recently, and scholarship has shown increased interest in perceptions of inequality mediating and mitigating the impact of objective changes. We aim to bring together expertise in political science and economics, which all too rarely happens in extant scholarship. Unlike large-scale surveys, where an experimental research design is hardly feasible, we will be better able to pin down causal effects using survey experiments. Most of the existing literature focuses on generic redistribution preferences.
Second, by adopting an experimental research design, which is hardly feasible in large-scale surveys such as the European Social Survey (ESS) or the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), our project will be better placed to pin down causal effects, contributing to more robust and stable research findings. Third, much of the existing work focuses on generic redistribution preferences. In contrast, we will study more specific policy preferences in domains such as education, labor market, health and environmental policies in order to better understand, which concrete policy responses are desired by the general public.
Aims and Central Research Question
The “Inequality Barometer” will study how individuals perceive and evaluate inequality, and how these perceptions influence policy preferences. We will perform a representative survey among the German population, built around a set of unchanging core questions, with additional topics varying in each wave. We will also perform survey experiments, changing information and the framing of questions to measure the effect of these changes on perceptions of and attitudes towards inequality. Besides preferences for redistributive policies, we are looking into other areas of policy such as education, health, migration, and the environment. Moreover, we will not merely study political stances in these fields in general, but preferences for specific policies.
Students' Perceptions of Inequality and Fairness and their Impact on Educational and Political Participation
Most existing studies on perceptions of inequality and fairness look at adults rather than students. Moreover, available evidence on students has been done by developmental psychologists and thus focuses on how these perceptions change when children get older. Sociological and psychological educational research has extensively studied structural inequalities in the educational system but has not taken much interest in the perceptions and evaluations by the children themselves, even though these can be expected to affect their motivation and aspirations within the educational system and beyond. Political science has only recently discovered the importance of inequality perceptions – beyond objective inequalities – for political participation and has focused on adults’ perceptions so far. We will move beyond these disciplinary limitations and describe and explain students’ perceptions of educational and societal inequality and fairness and their educational and political consequences. We plan to survey a larger number of students from different family backgrounds and in different institutional and regional settings.
Aims and Central Research Question
We aim to describe and explain how perceptions of inequality and fairness develop among children and adolescents, and to analyze their consequences for educational as well as political attitudes and behavior. To do so, we bring together expertise from political science, sociology, linguistics, education science, and psychology. We pay particular attention to the interplay of different explanatory factors: individual characteristics like adolescents’ socio-economic backgrounds and their cognitive and language skills; the social influence of parents, teachers and peers; and the role of the institutional and regional context, e.g. characteristics of the school and neighborhood.
We will conduct a panel study with younger and older students situated in secondary education. This allows us to analyze how perceptions of inequality and fairness differ across contexts and change over time. To gain a valid measure of students’ inequality perceptions, we will include survey experiments (using vignettes) in the panel study. These vignettes will depict fictional students systematically differing in inequality-related attributes such as their parents’ jobs, clothing, or ethnicity. In total, we aim to survey up to 150 classes with in total around 2,500 individuals, their parents and their teachers.