Prof. Dr. Martin Heidenreich

New Book:

Territorial and Social Inequalities in Europe

Challenges of European Integration

About this book

​This book examines social inequalities in Europe, especially those caused by economic factors. It starts with the paradox of European inequality, where on the one hand, even total income inequality in Europe is significantly lower than in most parts of the world; but on the other, Europe is also characterised by profound and durable inequalities within the continent. It discusses inequalities caused by the exclusion of marginalised groups from the labour market, with considerable and sometimes increasing differences between central and peripheral regions, pronounced wealth and labour market inequalities, and significant rates of persistent poverty, deprivation, educational poverty, low wages and unemployment. The book also discusses broader territorial inequalities, which are the basis for divisions between Northern and Southern Europe, East and West, between qualified and unqualified employees, younger and older people, men and women, and migrants and non-migrants. The book raises questions about the winners and losers of the social transformations linked to the introduction of the Euro, the Eastern enlargement of the EU, and the financial and Eurozone crises. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of a European-wide microdata set on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). The empirical research material, which is the first to deploy this data in a comprehensive manner, consists of detailed empirical analyses of social divisions and Europeanisation processes in 30 European countries. It analyses and explains the transformation of the previously dominant national spaces into a European social space.

This topical book is of interest to academics and students in the fields of sociology and comparative social sciences, along with those studying European regional geography, anthropology, international relations, and international politics.

New Book: Die doppelte Spaltung Europas

Fractured Europe. Social and Territorial Inequalities in Europe
From an international perspective, income inequality in Europe is comparatively low and it is decreasing. Nevertheless, social and territorial inequalities threaten the social foundations of European integration and in particular the European Union (EU). This book argues that this paradox is the outcome of high levels of non-monetary inequalities, increasing inequalities for some regions and groups, and also the Europeanisation of social inequalities. This means that the generation, regulation and perception of social inequalities does not take place only at the national, but also at the European level. The more deeply the EU and the European integration intervene in the lives of Europeans, the more it also influences their life chances and the more they compare their situation with that of other Europeans. The book facilitates better understanding of this Europeanisation of social divisions by analysing the social and territorial patterns of social inequality in Europe, its Europeanisation and the cleavages between central and peripheral regions and advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Drawing on the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, it is the first study of its kind to comprehensively analyse current trends of social inequality within and between countries in essential dimensions (employment and unemployment, wages, income, poverty and exclusion, education and wealth). This analysis shows that without a stronger focus on social cohesion the European integration undermines its basis, the support of its citizens. This has been become obvious in particular during the most recent crises of the EU.

Martin Heidenreich

Martin Heidenreich is Professor of Sociology with special attention to Social Stratification at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany. He is Jean-Monnet Chair for European Studies and founding director of the Jean Monnet Centre for Europeanisation and Transnational Regulations (CETRO). His research interests are regional, national and European patterns of inequality, employment and innovation. Past and current research has been funded by numerous agencies including the European Commission, the German Research Foundation, the Volkswagenstiftung and different ministries.

Martin Heidenreich


Jean Monnet Chair for European Studies in Social Sciences
Department of Social Sciences
School of Education and Social Sciences
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118/A6 4-403
D-26111 Oldenburg
Tel.: **49/(0) 0441/798-4867, Fax: (0)441/798-2631
E-mail: martin.heidenreich(at)


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