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European and National Identification: Causes, Forms, and Consequences for Increasing and Decreasing Solidarity (EUNIDES)


As part of the framework “Gesellschaft verstehen – Zukunft gestalten” [Understanding society – shaping the future] and funding of the BMBF on „Zusammenhalt in Europa“ [Cohesion in Europe], an interdisciplinary team of social psychologists, sociologists and political scientists at Philipps University Marburg under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Christopher Cohrs is working on the topic of identity and solidarity in Europe (Support code: 01 UG21111). In several research strands, we study the bases on which European citizens identify with their nation and with Europe, and how different forms of identity contribute to solidarisation or de-solidarisation of people with others in Europe and beyond.

Research strands:

Prof. Dr. Martin Schröder and Katrin Grimm use existing survey data to investigate how the extent of identification with Europe has developed over the last decades and the underlying factors of these developments. They consider relevant socio-economic, political and cultural attitudes of citizens, as well as contextual factors (e.g. increasing inequality, economic growth, cultural developments).

Prof. Dr. Bettina Westle and Philipp König study which different forms of collective identity (e.g. ethnic, political, cultural and socio-economic) can be found in Europe and how pronounced they are at the national and European levels. They also investigate to what extent different identities can coexist with each other and what effects they have on solidarity attitudes and behaviour.

Prof. Dr. Christopher Cohrs and Isabel Müller are investigating the causal mechanisms of identification with a series of experiments. The aim is to assess the influence of situational perceptions of socio-economic, political, ethnic and cultural factors on national and European identification.

The findings of the individual research strands will eventually converge in a new study. There, the specific findings of the previous research will be tested with an overall model of commonalities and differences between determinants and consequences of national and European identification.

Primary Investigators:

Prof. Dr. Christopher Cohrs, Prof. Dr. Bettina Westle, Prof. Dr. Martin Schröder

PhD students: Katrin Grimm, Isabel Müller, Philipp König

Research assistants: Sharif El Masry, Simone Bresser, Kilian Thullen