European Solidarity in Times of Crisis: Insights from a Thirteen-Country Survey

1st Edition

Jürgen Gerhards, Holger Lengfeld, Zsófia Ignácz, Florian K Kley, Maximilian Priem

Published June 27, 2019
Reference - 282 Pages
ISBN 9780367257286 - CAT# K424460
Series: Routledge Advances in Sociology


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The euro crisis, several sovereign debt crises, the Great Recession, the refugee crisis, and Brexit have all challenged Europeans’ willingness to show solidarity with other European citizens and member states of the European Union. European Solidarity in Times of Crisis provides a clear theoretical framework to understand European solidarity for the first time. It offers a systematic empirical approach to determine the strength and causes of European solidarity. The authors distinguish between four domains of solidarity and test a set of theoretically derived criteria with a unique dataset to investigate European solidarity.

Based on a survey conducted in thirteen EU member states in 2016, the empirical analysis leads to some unanticipated results. Europeans display a notably higher degree of solidarity than many politicians and social scientists have presumed so far. This especially applies to the support of people in need (welfare solidarity) and the reduction of territorial disparities between rich and poor EU countries (territorial solidarity), but also to the domain of fiscal solidarity (financial support of indebted EU countries). This optimistic view is less true for the domain of refugee solidarity. While citizens of western and southern EU countries accept the accommodation of refugees and their allocation between European countries, the majority of people in eastern European countries do not share this point of view.

The book will appeal to students and scholars in fields such as comparative sociology, political science, social policy and migration research, and European studies. It is also relevant to a non-academic audience interested in the development of the European project.

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