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Years of Turmoil: The Political Consequences of the Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe

English title Years of Turmoil: The Political Consequences of the Financial and Economic Crisis in Europeo is out? Dualization and the political representation of insiders and outsiders in Western Europe
Applicant Häusermann Silja
Number 146104
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Politikwissenschaft Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.09.2013 - 31.01.2018
Approved amount 246'958.00
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Keywords (5)

comparative political economy; social risk; financial crisis; social movements; economic voting

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In Sog der globalen Finanzkrise tauchte die Weltwirtschaft 2009 in eine schwere Rezession, welche in vielen europäischen Ländern eine dramatische Schuldenkrise nach sich zog. Dieses Projekt interessiert sich für die politischen Folgen dieser wirtschaftlichen Krisen in Europa.
Lay summary
Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts
Die europäischen Länder wurden unterschiedlich stark von der Wirtschafts- und Schuldenkrise getroffen und es ist immer noch nicht klar, ob und wie sich alle wieder erholen können. Darüber hinaus können wir grosse Unterschiede in Bezug auf die Art der politischen Reaktionen in der Bevölkerung feststellen: Während in einigen stark betroffenen Ländern wie in Irland in 2011 die Regierungen an der Urne aus dem Amt gejagt wurden und sich danach wieder etwas Normalität einstellte, kommen andere Länder wie Spanien oder Griechenland aufgrund von Streiks und Demonstrationen gar nicht mehr zur Ruhe. Wir werden mit der Identifikation der wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Faktoren für die unterschiedlichen Protestreaktionen der BürgerInnen beginnen und vergleichen dann deren politischen Auswirkungen über die letzten 6 Jahre in 28 europäischen Ländern. Speziell interessiert uns die Frage, unter welchen Bedingungen Wahlen ein Ventil für die Wut über Missstände darstellen, und unter welchen Umständen die Protestdynamik in andere Formen der politischen Aufruhr eskaliert.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext
Während die Politikwissenschaft bereits viel zu den Reaktionen von Regierungen auf die Krise geforscht hat, wird sich dieses Projekt auf die individuellen Reaktionen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger konzentrieren. Mittels Umfragen, Wahlresultaten und einer Medienanalyse wird dieses Projekt einen Beitrag zur Erklärung der Ursachen und Folgen politischen Protests in Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Not leisten.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.06.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
This research project analyzes the political reactions of European citizens to the momentous series of events that have destabilized the world economy in recent years.
Lay summary
Aim and design of the study
The critical moment that triggered the global meltdown of financial markets was the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in September 2008, which then lead to a severe recession with a slump in economic production, increasing levels of unemployment and soaring public debt. In the course of this `Great Recession', some national economies were caving in more substantially than others, and it is still too early to tell when and how all European economies will eventually recover. Nevertheless, we believe that it is time for a closer analysis of the political fallout of the crisis in Europe, especially because we can so far observe a large variation of political conflicts in reaction to the crisis. We start out by identifying the socio-structural potentials for protest in the different European countries; and then to study the political repercussions of the crisis in three steps: 1) explaining ndividual reactions to the crisis; 2) explaining societal reactions to the crisis; and 3) comparing the individual and societal levels of protest. The country sample includes 28 European states; and the time period spans from 2006 until the end of 2012, which allows for pre- and post-crisis comparisons.

Relevance of the research
While political economists so far have mostly looked at government reactions to the economic crises, their impact on political contestation have not been much studied so far. This project will ask how European citizens react to the economic hardship and how the individual reactions play out at the societal level. In doing so, it takes into account the interactions of politics in two different arenas of political mobilization: the electoral arena and the protest arena which also includes the arena of industrial conflict. We are convinced that it is only by taking into account the interaction of of political mobilization in the different arenas that we can fully understand the dynamics of political reactions to the Great Recession in Europe today.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.06.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Economic grievances and political protest
KURER THOMAS, HÄUSERMANN SILJA, WÜEST BRUNO, ENGGIST MATTHIAS (2019), Economic grievances and political protest, in European Journal of Political Research, 58(3), 866-892.
Participation in hard times: how constrained government depresses turnout among the highly educated
Häusermann Silja, Kurer Thomas, Wüest Bruno (2018), Participation in hard times: how constrained government depresses turnout among the highly educated, in West European Politics, 41(2), 448-471.
The declining middle : mass politics in times of automation (Dissertation)
KurerThomas (2018), The declining middle : mass politics in times of automation (Dissertation), University of Zurich, Zurich.
Contention in times of crises. Comparing political protest in 30 European countries, 2000-2015.
Kriesi Hanspeter, Lorenzini Jasmine, Wueest Bruno, Häusermann Silja, Contention in times of crises. Comparing political protest in 30 European countries, 2000-2015., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Nils Weidmann, University of Konstanz Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Joachim Scharloth, Semtracks Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Hanna Schwander, University of Bremen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Democracy, the State and Protest: International Perspectives on Methods for the Study of Protest Talk given at a conference Protesting Europeans in times of crisis: a thirty countries study 11.05.2017 Columbus, Ohio, United States of America Wüest Bruno;
Amsterdam Text Analysis Conference Talk given at a conference Towards a Dataset of Automatically Coded Protest Events from English-language Newswire Documents 21.06.2016 Amsterdam, Netherlands Wüest Bruno;
International Conference of Europeanists Talk given at a conference Inequality and Protest 14.04.2016 Philadelphia, United States of America Kurer Thomas;
New Frontiers of Automated Content Analysis (ACA) in the Social Sciences Talk given at a conference Towards automated protest event analysis 02.07.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Rothenhäusler Klaus; Wüest Bruno;
Comparative Political Economy Workshop Individual talk Years of Turmoil: The Political Consequences of the Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe 04.05.2015 Konstanz, Germany Kurer Thomas; Häusermann Silja;
BIGSSS workshop Individual talk Years of Turmoil: The Political Consequences of the Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe 28.01.2015 Bremen, Germany Häusermann Silja; Kurer Thomas;
European Political Science Association Talk given at a conference The hidden side of turnout: how constrained government reduces participation among the highly educated 19.06.2014 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Wüest Bruno;
EnCoRe Workshop: Tools and Techniques for Conflict Event Data Collection Talk given at a conference Using Computational Linguistics to Enhance Protest Event Analysis 06.12.2013 Konstanz, Germany Wüest Bruno;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
New Frontiers of Automated Content Analysis (ACA) in the Social Sciences 01.07.2015 Zürich, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Visualisation of the Political Protest Landscape in 30 European Countries 2000-2015 Eigener Blog International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
129673 From elections to outputs: linking party system change and distributive policy change 01.04.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
131994 Who is in and who is out? Dualization and the political representation of insiders and outsiders in Western Europe 01.01.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
171881 The Declining Middle: Political Reactions to Occupational Change 01.01.2017 Doc.Mobility
153140 Crisis of democracy? Party politics and representation in times of austerity 01.09.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The proposed research project analyzes the political reactions of European citizens to the momentous series of events that have destabilized the world economy in recent years. The critical moment that triggered the global meltdown of financial markets was the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in September 2008, which then lead to a severe recession with a slump in economic production, increasing levels of unemployment and soaring public debt. In the course of this `Great Recession', some national economies were caving in more substantially than others, and it is still too early to tell when and how all European economies will eventually recover. Nevertheless, we believe that it is time for a closer analysis of the political fallout of the crisis in Europe, especially because we can so far observe a large variation of political conflicts in reaction to the crisis. Take two heavily affected countries as exemplary cases of these differences in political reactions: While the Irish vehemently turned to the electoral arena and spectacularly ousted the long-term governing party Fianna Fail in the 2011 parliamentary election, Greece is shattered by waves of large-scale and disruptive protests since 2010.While political economists so far have mostly looked at government reactions to the financial, economic, and sovereign debt crises, their impact on political contestation have not been much studied so far. This project will explore the political reactions by utilizing the quasi-experimental setting provided by the crisis: As similar as the original stimulus of the unfolding financial crisis was for European countries, as diverse are its economic impact and, correspondingly, the political reactions in the European countries. Following a political economy perspective, we ask how European citizens react to the economic hardship and how the individual reactions play out at the societal level. In doing so, we take into account the interactions of politics in two different arenas of political mobilization: the electoral arena and the protest arena which also includes the arena of industrial conflict. The literatures focusing on the two arenas tend to lead quite separate lives and hardly ever take notice of each other. We must, however, try to bring together these types of studies, because we are convinced that it is only by taking into account the interaction of of political mobilization in the different arenas that we can fully understand the dynamics of political reactions to the Great Recession in Europe today. Specifically, we propose to start out by identifying the socio-structural potentials for protest in the different European countries; and then to study the political repercussions of the crisis in three steps: 1) explaining individual reactions to the crisis; 2) explaining societal reactions to the crisis; and 3) comparing the individual and societal levels of protest.Methodologically, we therefore intend to explore the protest reactions to the crises with a series of multilevel approaches. The data are combined from existing surveys and contextual data sets, reports on regional, national, and European elections as well as a protest event analysis of news wires. The country sample includes 28 European states; and the time period spans from 2006 until the end of 2012, which allows for pre- and post-crisis comparisons.
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