A European Societies and their Integration: 

European societies face global challenges and socio-demographic changes that threaten their integration and cohesion. To deepen our understanding of these challenges and changes, Department A’s research has traditionally focused on the development of market economies and welfare states, social inequalities shaped by education and labour market institutions, and social integration in ethnically heterogeneous societies.

Current research projects continue the comparative analysis of living conditions and life chances in Europe, including socio-psychological and economic perspectives alongside purely sociological ones. While acknowledging the long-term challenges of globalization and European integration, they also take into account the more recent repercussions of the 2008 economic crisis, which has not only altered individual societal risks but also accelerated pressures on institutions to reform. Within this scope, Department A conducts in-depth research to investigate the consequences of international migration, demographic changes and an increasingly heterogeneous population, combining the sociological understanding of long-term processes and cross-national institutional diversity with the analysis of current socio-demographic challenges to the integration of European societies. Analytically and empirically, research in Department A aims to integrate macro-level institutional and micro-level actor-centred perspectives as well as to detect the social processes and mechanisms underlying cross-national, time-related, and social group difference.

B European Political Systems and their Integration: 

The development of democracy in Europe is at the core of research in Department B. Coherence of the research activities in Department B results from both the common interest in European democratic governance and the methodological emphasis on theory-guided comparative empirical research in this area.

The projects in this Department approach the issue of democracy in Europe, giving particular attention to the conditions and contextual factors of democratic governance. However, they do so from different perspectives and, accordingly, are organised in three research areas. These three research areas investigate complementary yet interrelated aspects of democratic politics in European countries and in the European multilevel system of governance. Projects in Research Area B1 give special attention to the conditions of democratic governance in terms of the behaviour and orientations of citizens; projects in Research Area B2 concentrate on the institutional contexts of democratic governance; projects in Research Area B3 focus on political behaviour and political decision-making in regions that are influenced by European states or the European Union. Several projects are closely involved in international research networks and many aim to generate data sets as public goods for the scientific community.

List of active projects