Heidenreich, Martin

A6 4-403



Zemke, Kerstin

Heyen, Isolde

A6 4-401


Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Fakultät I
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118 
Universität Oldenburg 
D-26111 Oldenburg


  • Die soziale Dichte Europas. Ein makrosoziologischer Vergleich der EU-MitgliedstaatenAnknüpfend an das transaktionalistische Paradigma in der Tradition von Karl Deutsch wird in diesem Beitrag der Frage nachgegangen, warum die Alltagspraktiken und Einstellungen der Menschen in manchen EU-Staaten stärker europazentriert (und in diesem Sinne „europäisiert“) sind als in anderen. Mit Umfragedaten aus mehreren Quellen wird durch partielle Korrelationsmodelle für die EU-27-Mitgliedstaaten gezeigt, dass sich die Determinanten der Europäisierung bei Alltagspraktiken und Einstellungen deutlich unterscheiden. Während die Praktiken vor allem in wohlhabenderen und kleineren Ländern europazentriert sind, sind es bei den Einstellungen vor allem die osteuropäischen Staaten und jene, die geografisch im Zentrum der EU liegen. Als fruchtbar erweist sich außerdem die analytische Unterscheidung zwischen nationaler Öffnung und externer Schließung als Subdimensionen von Europäisierung. So zeigt sich beispielsweise, dass bessere Englischkenntnisse zwar einerseits eine Öffnung der Alltagspraktiken nach Europa zu fördern scheinen, anderseits aber einer kognitiven Schließung gegenüber der außereuropäischen Welt entgegenstehen.
  • Institutions, Agency, and Power in European Wage-Setting. A Transnational PerspectiveAgainst the background of the Euro crisis, there has emerged a supranational coordination of wage policies that stands in sharp contrast to trade union attempts of transnational bargaining coordination since the late 1990s. While the former aims at institutional transformation towards market liberalism, the latter follows the principle of social protection. As a complementary perspective to current comparative political economic and IR scholarship that both analyse vertical power shifts in multilevel governance, this paper suggests a transnational perspective which picture Europeanisation as a society wide process not only restricted to politics. This can explain why some actors like the European Commission could enforce market liberalism in wage-policy surprisingly easy and fast, while trade union actors have been able to challenge orthodox worldviews and practices only under very particular circumstances.
  • Europäische Vergesellschaftung zwischen sozialen Feldern und sozialem RaumDie Diskussion um die europäische Integration war für eine lange Zeit durch eine politikwissenschaftlich-juristische Perspektive dominiert. Die Soziologie hingegen hat einige Zeit gebraucht, um ihren eigenen Zugang zu diesem Themenfeld zu entwickeln, mittlerweile finden sich jedoch immer mehr entsprechende Arbeiten. Eine genuin soziologische allgemeine theoretische Fassung des Komplexes Europäische Integration bzw. Euro-päisierung steht jedoch bislang noch aus. Dieses Papier macht einen ersten Vorschlag, wie eine entsprechende Theoretisierung auf der Grundlage der bourdieuschen Feldtheorie aussehen könnte. Das Konzept unterscheidet mit sozialen Feldern und sozialem Raum zwei zentrale Arenen von Prozessen nationaler Öffnung und europäischer Schließung und fasst diese unter dem Begriff europäische Vergesellschaftung zusammen. In beiden Arenen werden unterschiedliche Mechanismen von Europäisierung unterschieden und Wechsel-wirkungen zwischen sozialen Feldern und sozialem Raum diskutiert.
  • Transnational Sense of Community in Europe: An Exploration with Eurobarometer DataThe ongoing crises in Europe have revived the debate about whether Europeans possess or should possess a “sense of community”. Conventionally, sense of community is investigated on a supranational dimension, approached mainly via concepts such as European identity or Euroscepticism. A different, heavily under-researched dimension is transnational sense of community, e.g. the attachment to other countries. In this paper we examine the extent to which Europeans feel transnationally attached to other countries, the geographical scope of this attachment, and the factors influencing it. 2010 Eurobarometer data (EB 73.3) provide the following insights: (1) The majority of EU citizens does feel attached to other countries. (2) Transnational practices, education, and minority status predict attachment to other countries, (3) EU citizens clearly feel more attached to other European countries than to non-European countries. In the discussion we contrast these findings with what is known about supranational approaches, to carve out to what extent transnational attachment is an independent component of Europeans’ sense of community.
  • Class Project or Individualization? The Stratification of Europeans’ Transnational ActivitiesIn sociological research on transnationalism it is conventional wisdom that the upper strata are more involved in cross-border activities than the lower strata. At the same time, proponents of the individualization/death-of-class thesis have argued that the significance of inequalities for people’s actions and lifestyles is declining in affluent societies. This article investigates the influence of inequalities on transnational activity. Using Eurobarometer 73.3 survey data from 27 European countries, it is examined (a) to which extent inequalities determine, in absolute terms and relative to heterogeneities, transnational practices within countries; (b) which macro-level characteristics explain differences between countries, and (c) whether affluence moderates the impact inequalities have on transnational practices. The findings show that inequalities matter more for transnationalism than other factors in the majority of countries. Affluence and country size are central macro-determinants of transnational activity.
  • Pathways from social stratification to material deprivationThis paper sheds light on the national influences which channel the risk of material deprivation within the European Union by using a multilevel model for 2011 EU SILC data. The aim of this paper is to explain why persons with low financial resources are particularly at risk of a lack of essential goods and services when living in a country with high social stratification. Three main mechanisms are identified that link high stratification to material deprivation: the payment of low social transfers, the restricted provision of social services and low social informal support as a result of lower social trust. The analysis shows that all factors are to a certain degree significant in explaining the cross-country variation in Europe. However, the main pathway between stratification and deprivation seems to be the lower provision of in-kind benefits in countries where the poor are marginalised. Higher levels of social services, meaning in-kind benefits in areas such as housing, healthcare or transport, could therefore substantially improve the living conditions of the income poor and reduce social exclusion within a political context of ‘demanding’ social activation policies.
  • Connected Europe(ans)? The Quantitative Measurement of Horizontal EuropeanisationConsidering the current process of horizontal Europeanisation which has resulted from the new opportunity structure created by the EU, this article discusses to what extent the European Member States are economically and socially intertwined. The proposition of this paper is that social interactions go hand in hand with economical interactions between the European Member States. In order to validate this assumption, a horizontal Europeanisation index that measures Europeanisation in contrast to globalisation was developed. The underlying variables of our index cover 25 European countries and were mainly collected from OECD and EUROSTAT. Almost all European countries are economically more Europeanised than globalised. We observed a medium correlation between the economic and social dimension, indicating a rather low systematic pattern between the two dimensions of horizontal Europeanisation in 2011. However, this assumption cannot be upheld when considering the time perspective from 2007 to 2011. Over time, social cross-border transactions are relatively disconnected from economical cross-border transaction.
  • Actors and Dimensions of EU Affairs Professionalism. A Topological ReviewIn this paper we conceptualize the European Union (EU) as a field of professionalization and depict the emergence and various dimensions of what we call “EU Affairs professionalism”. We argue that the European Union constitutes more than just a supra‐national layer of decision‐making and an influential institutional complex of policy‐making, but is at the same time a pertinent and influential producer of expert knowledge providing the basis for the emergence of specialized job profiles, professional careers and working contexts. While usually acting in “the shadow” and “in the backdoors” of EU policy‐making, these specialized groups of professionals make use of recognized expert knowledge, they have access to specific resources, they built up networks and collegial organizations, and they exhibit expert authority in their particular domains of activity. Drawing on social field theory and current approaches to professionalism and professionalization, the paper scrutinizes the emerging transnational field of EU Affairs professionalism in a topological manner by distinguishing different arenas and types of professional involvement characterizing the ongoing professionalization of contemporary EU Affairs. In this way, we aim to go beyond prevailing bureaucracy‐ and governance‐centered views on EU policy‐making and establish a broader and more differentiated image of the people who actually deal with EU Affairs ranging from the major locations of EU policy‐making far into the EU members states and even beyond.
  • Unity in Diversity? The Standardized Diversification of EU RegionsIt is argued in this contribution that regional diversification, thus the pronunciation of regional differences and particularities, reflects a global trend of spatial development these days. Within the administrative space of the current European Union, the mobilization of subnational territories has gained special attention, particularly within the framework of the EU regional policy and EU activities fostering “territorial cohesion” through the mobilization of regional agency and multiple development efforts on local and regional ground. This leads to the paradoxical situation that despite all pronunciation of regional uniqueness and difference the regional development strategies are becoming ever more similar and standardized all around Europe. The discussion of this peculiar “standardized diversification” of the EU territory is the central concern of this contribution. Based on a macrophenomenological research perspective in the tradition the so‐called world‐polity‐approach I propose to conceive of regional mobilisation in contemporary EUrope as a “world‐cultural” project of social mobilization. This enables us to shed light on the broader cultural foundations and the strong modernist thrust of current processes of Europeanization, which is often overlooked in emphatic images of a Europe of regional diversity.
  • Atypische Beschäftigung und soziale Ungleichheit in Europa 2010Atypische Beschäftigung hat in den letzten 40 Jahren in Europa stark an Bedeutung gewonnen. Wie gezeigt wird, variieren die Anteile atypisch Beschäftigter jedoch zwischen sozialen Gruppen und unterschiedlichen Nationalstaaten. Ein Ziel der Europäischen Beschäftigungsstrategie besteht darin, dass in den EU‐Mitgliedsstaaten eine Beschäftigungsquote von wenigsten 75 Prozent erreicht werden soll. In diesem Zusammenhang wird untersucht, inwiefern atypische Beschäftigungsformen ein Mittel dazu darstellen können. Neben individueller Betroffenheit ist diese Form der Beschäftigung aber ebenfalls Ausdruck spezifischer Arbeitsmarktstrukturen sowie wirtschaftlicher, politischer und juristischer Entscheidungen. Daher wird abschließend mittels multivariater Analysen untersucht, welche individuellen Merkmale und nationalen Rahmenbedingungen ausschlaggebend sind, die Wahrscheinlichkeit von atypischer Beschäftigung zu erhöhen.
  • What determines subjective poverty? An evaluation of the link between relative income poverty measures and subjective economic stress within the EUThe interaction between income poverty and individual socio‐economic characteristics is widely discussed in contemporary sociological research. However, still relatively little is known about individual socio‐demographic and institutional conditions and their impact on subjective feelings of poverty. This paper contributes to this debate. We analyse to what extent income poverty determines subjective poverty across Europe. The starting point of this paper is the observation that the relationship between income poverty and subjective poverty varies substantially across the European countries. It is hypothesized that feelings of subjective poverty are not only affected by individual or contextual factors. Rather, it is assumed that the importance of monetary resources in determining subjective poverty varies substantially across EU countries. We stress the importance of income poverty relative to the national and EU‐wide income distribution in explaining subjective poverty. We derive explicit hypotheses and test them with data from the eighth wave of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (fielded in 2011). Based on unconditional models as well as a conditional multivariate logistic‐regression with cross‐level interaction terms for 28 EU nation‐states, we find that subjective poverty in less prosperous countries can be predicted more accurately by an EU‐poverty threshold, whereas the national poverty line predicts subjective poverty more accurately in prosperous countries does not seem to determine subjective poverty properly in any of the considered European nation‐states. The main finding of this paper is the asymmetric effect of monetary resources on subjective poverty across the EU‐countries. Thus, we conclude that future European poverty research should renounce the established national and EU‐wide poverty thresholds, turning instead towards subjectively perceived income poverty thresholds. Thereby, it becomes possible to evaluate living standards in European countries appropriately and to define a data‐driven minimum acceptable standard of living in the EU.
  • Towards Pan-European Contentions? European Integration and its Effects on Political MobilizationThe paper deals with the effects of European integration on political contentions and protest mobilizations. I argue that these effects are located on two different dimensions. On a social structural level, European integration is leading to a gradual fragmentation of cleavage structures and a multiplication of grievances; on a symbolic and cultural level, European integration is establishing pan-European debates that promote a common symbolic frame of reference for the identification and assessment of societal problems. This two-fold process is augmenting the number of (local) grievances and deprivations with a European scope, and thus increasing the potential contentiousness of the EU. Factual protest mobilizations, however, are determined by structures of inequalities, because not all groups and constituencies are willing and able to engage in pan-European contentions. The latter are still patterned by core-periphery relations and class structures, implying that socially less privileged constituencies from the European periphery have more difficulties in voicing their concerns transnationally.
  • Horizontal Europeanisation through trade union strategies in wage bargaining? A neo-institutional frameworkThis working paper adopts sociological Neo-Institutionalism to devise a theoretical framework of trade union strategies in the context of international and European wage competition, European Monetary Union and the recent economic crisis. The main focus is on trade unions’ contributions, i.e. institutional work, to the creation and maintenance of industrial relations institutions of wage bargaining coordination at European level, and hence, on the possible emergence of an organisational field of European wage policy. In empirical terms the paper takes a longitudinal perspective on the development of cross-national wage bargaining coordination in the metalworking sector. The paper concludes that normative and cultural-cognitive institutions have contributed to the ability and willingness of trade unions to engage in the creation and maintenance of transnational wage related institutions (such as bargaining guidelines) and hence, horizontal Europeanization. However, two research outcomes deserve particular mention: 1) Rising levels of international and European (wage) competition did not per se result in an increase in cross-border cooperation of trade unions. In both time periods investigated, i.e. trade union initiatives in the early 1970s (DACH-initiative and Nordiska Metal) and transnational bargaining coordination initiatives since the 1990, union strategies did NOT follow functional requirements. Rather, a minimum level of institutional support (such as by the European Works Council Directive) is necessary to open up room for manoeuvre to ‘institutional entrepreneurs’ who are willing and able to act transnationally. 2) Although MNCs appear to be still reluctant to enter bilateral wage bargaining coordination at transnational level, there is some empirical evidence that existing regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive pressures in combination with structural conditions (labour shortage in particular occupations/professions) induce business to cooperate with unions in particular sections of the economy.
  • Europäische Vergesellschaftungsprozesse Horizontale Europäisierung zwischen nationalstaatlicher und globaler VergesellschaftungIm Zentrum des wissenschaftlichen Interesses am europäischen Integrationsprozess stand bislang das wirtschaftliche, rechtliche und politische Zusammenwachsen Europas. Die europäische Integration führt insbesondere seit den 1990er Jahren aber auch zu einer grundlegenden Transformation der sozialen Beziehungen und der Lebenssituation der Menschen. Während sich das Leben der Menschen in der Nachkriegszeit vorrangig im Rahmen von Nationalstaaten abspielte, geht die Öffnung nationalstaatlicher Räume mit einer zunehmenden grenzüberschreitenden Verflechtung und einer stärkeren transnationalen Integration sozialer Interaktionen, Einstellungen und Deutungen einher. Die Öffnung bislang weitgehend nationalstaatlich regulierter und begrenzter sozialer Felder unter anderem durch die europäische Integration steht im Zentrum der hier vorgeschlagenen Perspektive. Entwickelt werden soll ein Konzept feldspezifischer, konfliktträchtiger „horizontaler“ Europäisierungsprozesse. Europa wird somit als Feld von Feldern begriffen. Dieses Konzept zielt auf die feldspezifischen Dynamiken, die multiplen Raumbezüge und die sozialstrukturellen Auswirkungen grenzüberschreitender Vergesellschaftungsprozesse, in ausgewählten Bereichen ab. Angestrebt wird ein besseres Verständnis ausgewählter Europäisierungsprozesse, der damit verbundenen Konflikte, ihrer sozialstrukturellen Voraussetzungen und ihrer Auswirkungen auf die Muster sozialer Ungleichheit.
(Stand: 19.01.2024)  | 
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