Public Opinion of European Societies in Change

Research question/goal: 

This project aims to collect micro-level data on public opinion about political reform-making in Europe, in order to to cope with future challenges such as climate change, public and private debt as well as societal developments of ageing populations and unemployment of the young. However, both at the country and the European level, we observe considerable variation in the ways whether and how reforms are carried out. One of the main characteristics of reform-making is that processes are complex and take a long time in democratic systems, in which public opinion plays a crucial role and may vary over time. In addition to elections, decision-makers pay attention to public opinion polls, which are at best either cross-sectional data collections or build on convenience samples.  For the study of reform-making we need probability sampling to infer to the general population, a longitudinal design for analysing long-lasting processes, and experiments for reliably evaluating implications of reform-making. We thus propose to set up, develop and find medium-term funding for a European network of probability-based online panels of the general population. This promises to increase the reliability and validity of public opinion data about reform-making in Europe, which may support scholars and decision-makers alike in their evaluation of reform-making processes.

Current stage: 

We have discussed new funding opportunities and decided together with the main project partners at a meeting in Mannheim to prepare a proposal for the EU call “INFRADEV-01-2017 - Design studies”. Moreover, we managed to expand our network of partnering researchers by participating at in a workshop on big data at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Hungary. Furthermore, we are currently finishing the compilation of three harmonized data sets on the basis of data from the project’s pilot studies.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
MZES, SFB
Duration: 
2015 to 2017
Status: 
in preparation
Data Sources: 
survey data from several European probability-based online panels
Geographic Space: 
Europe

Publications