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The EU's long crisis decade

Causes, consequences, and path dependencies

The sequence of serious crises since 2008 has affected the European Union polity and its underpinning social fabric profoundly. Treating each crisis as a separate unit of analysis is unavoidable for topical research and over the past decade, academic research has done a good job in analysing the major crises hitting the EU.

In this workshop, we compare these crises and look at mechanisms that connect them politically, for instance through policy feedback or political polarisation. We also invite contributions that analyse a looming social crisis, caused partly by past crisis management itself. On top of that, we combine EU crisis research with questions of transnational cooperation - both at the level of EU member states and citizens. How do EU crisis trends affect transnational cooperation and solidarity?

We would like to break down the workshop’s overarching question into three aspects: first, analysing crises in a comparative framework is crucial for forming plausible expectations about the imminent future of policymaking: for instance, how the EU responds to the Ukraine war will affect its climate change agenda profoundly. We are interested in the legacies of crises on current policy choices. Second, the localised social crises struggled to attract scholarly attention but now that a cost-of-living surge and accelerating climate change affect livelihoods in different places, it is imperative to analyse it systematically. Even if transient, do we have evidence for permanent scarring effects on individuals and communities? Third, how robust is transnational cooperation and the public’s support for it, desperately needed in crises that overstretched national safety nets?

To address these issues, we plan to bring together political scientists, political economists, sociologists, and historians, with the aim to publish a special issue in a refereed journal.

Core questions/topics which we hope to cover

- Has transnational cooperation become more, or less, robust over the long crisis decade since 2008?

- How has the sequence of crises affected public support for transnational solidarity, in the EU and beyond?

- How did the social crisis manifest itself in other crises, notably of the euro area, of humanitarian migration, in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine?

- How is the cost-of-living surge perceived: for instance, as a common social crisis, as a fallout of previous crisis measures, caused or alleviated by interdependence in the EU polity, or as a largely exogenous consequence of Russia’s war on Ukraine?

- Has the EU’s past involvement in crisis management led to higher expectations of citizens regarding supranational support when facing a (cross-) national social crisis?

- Are there institutional policy changes discussed to tackle social crises at the regional, national and EU level?

- How does the string of major crises in the EU explain the variation in public support for different European public goods?


Page last updated on 05/12/2023

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