Perceptions of Inequalities and Justice in Europe (PIJE)

Current Project

Project Management

Stefan Liebig

Project Period

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Commissioned by

Leibniz-Wettbewerb

In Cooperation With

Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg
Universität Konstanz
Universität Wien
Radboud University
New York University
MPI für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Over recent decades, European societies have witnessed increasing social inequalities. Faced with more flexible labor markets, open trade, and technological as well as ongoing demographic changes, European welfare models have been unable to effectively address this issue. Recent developments such as the yellow vest movement in France and the rise of populist parties across Europe have renewed research interest in the mechanisms driving the distribution of income, wealth, and other social resources. Although challenges arising from social inequalities are having a major impact on European societies and policy making, there is still little empirically based knowledge about how populations respond to such challenges and how these issues can and should be effectively addressed. The project seeks to fill this gap by analyzing perceptions and evaluations of social inequalities using harmonized survey data collected in 30 European countries in 2018 (European Social Survey, Round 9).

The project aims:

  1. to describe how inequalities are perceived and evaluated across Europe,
  2. to identify the socio-economic factors that lead people to consider inequalities as fair or unfair, and
  3. to examine how these evaluations affect social, political, and policy outcomes (e.g., social cohesion, trust in democratic institutions, political engagement).

The project pools the extensive expertise of three multidisciplinary research groups:

  1. the SOEP group has a strong record in survey-based, comparative research on justice attitudes;
  2. the DFG-funded research group “Need-Based Justice and Distribution Procedures” (FOR 2104) has specialist expertise in theoretical modeling and experimental research on justice-related attitudes and behavior; and
  3. the research cluster “The Politics of Inequality" will contribute research on the political consequences of attitudes toward justice. The project will also be integrated into an international network of empirical justice researchers.

DIW Team

Topics: Europe , Inequality

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