HEUREC
How Europeans understand fairness, reciprocity and cohesion

Research project on solidarity and social cohesion in Europe

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting a new research project at the Institute of Political Science with approx. 876,000 Euros. The project, titled HEUREC – How Europeans understand fairness, reciprocity and cohesion, will investigate which expectations of reciprocity citizens in nine Eurozone countries have toward other European countries and the institutions of the European Union. The difficult question of ‘who owes whom what’ – e.g. which member states or which levels are responsible for providing support in the EU – has only become more controversial, especially in the wake of the Euro-area sovereign debt crisis and, most recently, the stimulus packages passed in response to the COVID-19-pandemic. Perceptions of transnational justice and reciprocity are embedded in narratives; their patterns can be asessed best in focus groups. Accordingly, the project sets out to conduct focus groups in cooperation with local partners in the selected Eurozone countries: Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. The focus groups will include individuals from various socio-demographic groups who discuss problems of reciprocity and distributive justice in the EU context. The goal of the project is to determine narrative patterns and thus to gain better understanding of the societal requisites for realizing solidarity at European level. Additionally, the research findings and insights will inform a dialog with political practitioners. Heading the project at the Institute are Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek and Adjunct Prof. Dr. Björn Egner, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Hubert Heinelt (professor emeritus). The project has commenced as of 1 April 2021 and has a duration of three years.

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek
Chair
Transnational Governance
+49 6151 16-57357
S3|12 431
apl. Prof. Dr. Björn Egner
Chair
Methodology in Political Science and Philosophy of Science
+49 6151 16-57339
S3|12 443
Prof. Dr. Hubert Heinelt
Retired Professor
Public Administration, Public Policy and Local Politics
+49 6151 16-57362
S3|12 443
  Name Working area(s) Contact
Picture: I. Abolina
Dr. Inese Abolina
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Picture: R. Dacosta
Ricardo Dacosta M.A.
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Dr. Inga Gaižauskaitė
Research Associate
Methodology in Political Science and Philosophy of Science, Transnational Governance
Picture: P. Karpathiou
Petros Karpathiou M.Sc.
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Picture: J. Krotky
Jan Krotký M.A.
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Melina Lehning M.A.
Research Associate
Methodology in Political Science and Philosophy of Science
Picture: J. Moniz
João Moniz M.A.
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Picture: J. Schauman
Jonas Schauman M.A.
Research Associate
Project "HEUREC"
Prof. Dr. Jared Sonnicksen
Research Associate
Methodology in Political Science and Philosophy of Science, Transnational Governance, Comparative Politics and European Integration
Picture: J. Teerenstra
Jildou Teerenstra M.A.
Research Associate
Project "Heurec"

Discussion Paper 1: Cohesion, Solidarity, Fairness, Reciprocity. Clarifying the Concepts in the EU Context

Discussion Paper 2: How can narratives be traced empirically in which Europeans are expressing their understanding of reciprocity, fairness and cohesion?

Discussion Paper 3: Conducting transnational focus group discussions: Lessons from the HEUREC project

Policy-Paper: Solidarity and reciprocity in the European Union: What citizens think

Data Repository (focus group transcripts)

Book “How Europeans Understand Solidarity, Fairness and Reciprocity in the EU: Insights from Focus Group Discussions”, Routledge, 2024 (open access)

Upcoming 2024: Journal Article “Wer schuldet wem was? Erkenntnisse aus Diskussionen mit Bürger:innen über Solidarität in der Eurozone” (in German)

Date
Location Type
28./29.09.2021
Bensheim Kick-Off-Workshop (opens in new tab)
16.-18.03.2022 Annweiler am Trifels Internal Workshop
21.10.2022 Brussels Moderated focus group discussions
12./13.05.2023 Darmstadt Internal Book Workshop
01.02.2024 Darmstadt Practicioners Workshop
15./16.02.2024 Darmstadt Academic Conference (opens in new tab)
28.02.2024 Brussels Project Seminar
Date Title, Venue, Audience, Language Presenter(s)
17/04/2023 Input to the panel discussion on “Narratives and instruments: How to make solidarity effective” at the conference “Solidarity and/or reciprocity: The North-South divide in times of permacrisis”

Venue: Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, Spain

English
H. Heinelt
11/03/2024 “How Europeans understand solidarity in the EU: Results of the comparative analysis of the focus group discussions”

Venue: Public Administration and Public Policy Seminar (PAPP) at the University of Gothenburg, Department of Political Science, The Quality of Government Institute

English
I. Gaizauskaite
18/01/2024 “How citizens think (and worry) about redistributive schemes
in the European Union: evidence from focus group research in nine countries”

Venue: The future of European social citizenship – EUSocialCit Conference, Amsterdam

Language: English
I. Gaizauskaite
17/11/2023 “Solidarity and Reciprocity in Europe. Interpersonal, international and transnational perspectives”

Conference “Vom Weißbuch zur Realität: Impulse für die Zukunft der Europäischen Union” (opens in new tab), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

German
B. Egner
15-17/06/2023 “Solidarity in Europe: Mapping Perceived Roles of and between the EU Member States”

The 15th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (CBSE), “Turning Points: Values and Conflicting Futures in the Baltics”, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

English
I. Gaizauskaite
25/06-01/07/2023 “Comparative Focus Group Discussion Research: Dealing with Challenges of Field Work Reality”

XX International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, Melbourne, Australia

English
I. Gaizauskaite
24/03/2023 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Dret, Secció de Ciència Política, Spain

Audience: Academic staff and MA students

English
H. Heinelt
28/03/2023 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Derecho, Edificio de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas, Spain

Audience: Academic staff and MA students

English
H. Heinelt
06/02/2023 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: radio talk on research project and preliminary results”

Online, national broadcaster “Lithuanian Radio and Television” (LRT), radio talk “10-12”, by journalist Ruta Kupetyte

Audience: general public in Lithuania

Lithuanian
I. Gaizauskaite
2/12/2022 “Tarptautinis kokybinis tyrimas: refleksija apie tyrimo proceso planavimą ir valdymą” (Cross-country qualitative research: a reflection on planning and managing the research process)

XIV Lithuanian Sociological Society conference “Universities, Sociology and Civil Society in the Face of Crises” (opens in new tab)

Kaunas University of Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Lithuanian
I. Gaizauskaite
8/11/2022 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Department for International Relations and European Studies, Brno, Czech Republic

Audience: Academic staff and PhD students

English
H. Heinelt
J. Krotký
9/11/2022 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Institute for Sociology of SAS

Audience: Academic staff

English
H. Heinelt
J. Krotký
4/10/2022 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Department of Local Development and Policy of the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Warsaw, Poland

Audience: Academic staff and PhD students

English
H. Heinelt
10/05/2022 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), Athens, Greece

Audience: Academic staff and interested public

English
H. Heinelt
P. Karpathiou
3/05/2022
“How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Department of Political Science and Public Administration, National and Kapodistrian University, Athens, Greece

Audience: MA students

English
H. Heinelt.
P. Karpathiou
6/04/2022 “How Europeans understand solidarity, reciprocity and fairness: Methodological design and first results of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

Department of Political and Social Science, University of Florence, Italy

Audience: MA students

English
H. Heinelt