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Research Projects

The Greeks, the Germans, and the Crisis (GGCRISI)

Together with Prof. Dr. Maria Kousis, University of Crete, Department of Sociology
Duration: 2014 - 2015
Funding:  Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project researchers: Franziska Scholl, Moritz Sommer


The project aims to fill a gap in the literature by offering a systematic analysis of the political discussions around the Eurozone-crisis, as reflected by the Greek, German and transnational media, from October 2009 to September 2013. Applying a discursive actor attribution analysis that combines political discourse analysis, claim analysis and protest event analysis, it offers a mapping of the public debates on the economic crisis in the eurozone, their causes, consequences, adequate measures, and the role of involved actors.

A detailed knowledge of the claims making allows a deeper understanding of: which policy measures, supported by whom with relation to which arguments, could gain acceptance by which reference group. The findings relate to the debate on a Europeanization and transnationalization of the public sphere and an understanding of the Europeanization and transnationalization of contention. An additional second project phase focuses on semi-structured interviews with journalists and claim makers who appeared as core actors in the undertaken political claims analysis.

Volunteering, potential for volunteering and the potential for volunteering in unions among adolescents in the former East German States

Duration: 2013 - 2014
Funding: Otto-Brenner-Stiftung

Since volunteering usually initiates in people’s youth, a particular importance is attached to adolescents and their role within the context of a volunteering culture in the realm of civil society. Research on civil society participation has shown in multiple cases that the levels of volunteering in the East of Germany are considerably lower than in its western counterpart.  Focusing on adolescents in eastern Germany the research project concentrates on a group that is particularly important for the research on volunteering. The research project uses existing data from standardized surveys to analyze in detail the scope and types of, as well as explanations for volunteering among East German adolescents. Existing studies such as the “Freiwilligensurvey” (Survey of volunteers), the study “Aufwachsen in Deutschland” (AID:A, Growing up in Germany) and the “Shell-Jugendstudie” (study on youth commissioned by Shell) are valuable and so far under-researched sources of information when taken together. In a first step, the here presented research project describes existing levels of volunteering among East German adolescents in a detailed manner. In a second step, large multivariate methods help to develop a typology of the different types that further serves as the basis for differentiated models of explanation for volunteering.  Missing data in one sample can at least in parts be compensated through information of one of the other samples. In a last step the volunteering-type based explanation models help to conduct differentiated analyses of the volunteering potential. In each of these steps a special focus lies on volunteering in unions.


Expectations and opinions concerning the grid development plan among the people involved

In Germany there exist plans for a large extension and reconstruction of the existing grid. These plans include participatory procedures designed to give a voice to the people affected. Consultations are held to discuss preliminary plans for future energy markets and the necessary grid infrastructure. The process is particularly interesting because it potentially includes almost the entire population and because of the high level of public interest during the first steps of the process.

The project looks at heavily affected people and their perspective on the consultation procedures. Therefore we conduct standardized surveys among participants of discussion meetings about the grid development plan 2012. We ask for expectations of the consultation procedure and opinions about the future process as well as about the other parties involved. Additionally we conduct guided interviews with the different players.


Young researchers network: "New Perspectives on Social Movements and Protest"

Duration: 2010 - 2014
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The young researchers network "New Perspectives on Social Movements and Protest" brings together 14 young academics working in the field of social movement studies and protest research. Next to continuous exchange about current topics in the field, the network seeks to push research in three central areas:

  1. The network aims at starting a new discussion about interlinkages between the broad perspectives of social theories and research on social movements that can turn out to be fruitful for both fields at the same time.
  2. We want to take up social sciences' Cultural Turn and apply it in the field of movement and protest studies.
  3. Within the social sciences there is a long tradition to claim a constitutive relationship between the social structures and social movements / protest. However, in recent research this perspective has been neglected; Consequently, the network wants to revitalize the tradition by systematically discussing the relationship between the social structures and social movements / protest


Transnationalisation across Borders in Europe

Habilitation project
Duration: 2004 - 2009

The process of European integration is supposed to lead to a single European social space. To which extent has the juridical dissolution of national borders, as promoted by the EU, affected the lifeworld activity of people living close to national borders? And are cross border activities only dependent on personal advantages or is a value consensus also influential, as the Parsonian tradition proposed? These research questions are analysed in a two-step design. Firstly, Eurobarometer data in connection with macro data are used for multilevel analysis. Additionally, the study is based on a standardised mail survey in three German cities situated close to national borders. Beyond interest in the neighbouring country, several activities are examined such as shopping, friendships and jobs.


The European Union and Attribution of Responsibility in Mass Media

Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gerhards
Duration: 04.2004 - 10.2006
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Project researchers: Dr. Anke Offerhaus

The project analyses to what extent and under which circumstances responsibility for political action is publicly attributed to the European Union. As the public sphere is dominated by national media and national actors, we expect that the EU is the perfect scapegoat. EU representatives are by and large ignored by national media, thus they are unable to respond to national attribution processes by presenting their own perspective. Based on quantitative content analysis of newspapers these hypotheses are examined over time (1995 to 2004) and in comparison between the press the in United Kingdom and Germany.


Effects of Environmental Protest in the Federal Republic of Germany

Project coordinator: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jochen Roose
Duration: 11.2003 - 10.2004
Funding: Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung
Project researchers: Manuela Beer (11.2003-04.2004), Patricia Deuser and Hanna Schlingmann.

What are the effects of environmental protest in Germany? Protest event analysis, i.e. the analysis of environmental protests as they are reported in daily newspapers over the years, offers data on protest activity by the movement over long time-spans. The project uses data from the PRODAT-project by the Social Science Research Centre Berlin for 1970 to 1994 and the German data set of the TEA-project (Transformation of Environmental Activism) for 1988 to 2000. For the whole period covered, time series are collected on dimensions which might be affected by environmental protest, such as media attention to environmental issues, attitudes towards environmental protection, action of political and economic elites, environmental behaviour, and the environmental situation. If protest has an effect on these dimensions the effects should become visible in the aggregate as well as particular circumstances in each single conflict constellation.


Fans and Fandom

Project coordinators/project researchers: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jochen Roose and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Mike S. Schäfer

In some phase of their lives, most people adore a musician or become supporter of a football club. Others favour special books, cars, etc. The project describes, what fans do and how they become fans of their respective objects. Additionally, more specific theoretical questions are explored. Is the social structure of fans, understood as a specific participatory audience, comparable to people who participate politically? Is there a particular elite among fans, who accumulate fan-specific social and cultural capital, and is this elite socio-structurally comparable to the elite in general society? Is there an effect of transnational fan activity on the transnationality of other life spheres? With a standardised internet survey these questions are explored.


Europeanisation of National Environmental Organizations in Germany and the United Kingdom

Dissertation project
Duration: 1998 - 2001

As political competencies on environmental policy shifted from the national to the European level, national environmental organisations have had to realign their strategies. The project analyses to which extent the organisations direct their political activities towards the European level. The project is based on semi-structured interviews with representatives of environmental NGOs in Germany and the United Kingdom. Results show, that the Germans are much more hesitant to address the European institutions while the British NGOs work on the European level to a great extent. Resasons can be found in the inner logic of the organisations. The traditional lobbying approach in Britain is well compatible with the situation in Brussels while the grassroots tradition of German NGOs cannot be transferred to the European level. The organisations’ members favour not only political goals but also means of achieving them. Thereby they hinder the NGOs from fundamentally changing their strategies.

Roose, Jochen, 2003: Die Europäisierung von Umweltorganisationen. Die Umweltbewegung auf dem langen Weg nach Brüssel. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag (jetzt VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften).


25 Years Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology)

Duration: 2001
Funding: Öko-Institut

Download pdf-file here (ca. 1MB).


Marginal Employment in Berlin-Brandenburg

Duration: 1997 - 1998
Funding: Hans Böckler-Stiftung, Dr. Irmtraud Schlosser


Transformation of Environmental Activism

Project coordinator: Christopher Rootes, University of Kent at Canterbury
Project researchers: : Prof. Dr. Dieter Rucht, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin
Duration: 1997 - 2001
Funding: Forschungsförderung der Europäischen Union
Project site: here