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ERC grant: Shedding new light on polarisation in Europe

Posted on 31 March 2020

Making sense of political dynamics in today’s Europe requires a better understanding of increased polarisation. In her ERC project, Professor Liesbet Hooghe seeks to explain the intensity of polarisation on the issues of immigration, Europe, and climate change. 

 ERC_Flags outside parliament (Photo ChiralJon)_800 447

In March 2020, five EUI researchers were awarded ERC advanced grants. (Photo Chiral Jon)

While recent research has made impressive advances in understanding individual attitudes and party-political competition, we know far less about how a person’s social context shapes their response to issues that arise on the political agenda,” said Professor Hooghe.

Professor Hooghe will combine insights from political cleavage theory with those on identity formation and social networks through surveys, natural experiments and interviews. She will provide local perspectives on polarisation through case studies, closely following, among others, German citizens' evolving attitudes on migration, English citizens' adaptation to Brexit, and Flemish citizens' reaction to climate change policies.

“ERC funding is crucial for setting up a sustained inquiry over the course of five years that combines cross-national panel surveys in six countries with in-depth panel surveys and face-to-face interviews in select local communities. This multi-method approach would be inconceivable without the support of the European Research Council,” concludes Professor Hooghe.



Project title: Transnational Divide: Local Triggers, Social Networks, and Group Identities
Liesbet Hooghe is the W.R. Kenan Professor in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and recurrent Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. 

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