Reinl, Ann-Kathrin ORCID: 0000-0002-3780-3101 (2020). Transnational Solidarity in Times of Crises. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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This cumulative dissertation investigates transnational solidarity in times of crises in the context of the European Union (EU). In order to realize solidarity policies that are democratically legitimate, the EU requires the support of its population. To that end, the dissertation at hand takes an individual level approach. In three original articles, I empirically analyze transnational solidarity based on survey data and shed light on varying conceptual, state and stakeholder perspectives, which have remained unexplored in previous research. The first paper investigates a two-dimensional concept of transnational solidarity derived from the literature on national welfare states differentiating between risk-sharing and redistribution. Despite diverse levels of transnational solidarity in EU member states, citizens share a similar understanding of the overall concept. Therefore, it is feasible to compare transnational solidarity across borders. The following two papers build on this conceptual comparability and refer to the identified risk-sharing dimension during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. The second paper examines the willingness of voters from a debt-ridden state to accept crisis bailout conditions, whereas the third paper studies politicians’ perspectives on granting such monetary bailout. For both studies, I find that the individual’s socio-economic attitudes as well as the EU attitudes matter. Moreover, the economic and information contexts individuals find themselves in play a direct and moderating role. These findings are in line with previous studies on support for EU-wide financial assistance in the broader EU population. Thus, voters and political elites from states in different crisis roles seem to base their preferences for transnational solidarity on similar considerations. This can be interpreted as a positive signal for further European integration and democratic representation alike. Following from that, the overall findings of my cumulative dissertation are manifold and make important contributions to hitherto unexplored gaps in the literature. Firstly, the insights gained contribute to a more sophisticated conceptualization of transnational solidarity and demonstrate that citizens’ understanding of the concept indeed is comparable between the EU countries studied. Secondly, my work sheds light on understudied state and stakeholder perspectives taken during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, thus contributing to a deeper knowledge of transnational solidarity and underlying motivations at that time. In terms of current political debates, the EU has to decide how to jointly tackle current and future EU crises. Turning from a mostly economic community to a union of enacted values requires a common understanding of transnational solidarity as well as comparable mindsets of individuals from diverse state and stakeholder perspectives. The present dissertation supports the existence of both these preconditions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-529895
Date: 2020
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Psychology > Professur der GESIS-Abteilung "Datenarchiv für SoWi"
Subjects: Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
European UnionEnglish
Date of oral exam: 29 July 2021
NameAcademic Title
Katsanidou, AlexiaProf. Dr.
Davidov, EldadProf. Dr.
Lefkofridi, ZoeProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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