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The boundaries of solidarity: multi-level governance and redistribution

Programmegroup Challenges to Democratic Representation

This project seeks to understand people’s readiness to redistribute locally, nationally or supranationally, by analyzing how collective identities, generalized trust, national frames and decentralization influence preferences for redistribution at the local, national and European level.

Funding: NWO (VENI)

Period: 01/02/2014 until 31/01/2018

The increasing complexity and heterogeneity of contemporary societies represent a major challenge to European nation-states. Their boundaries of social rights, political participation and ethnic belonging used to be highly congruent. In the past few decades, however, globalization, European integration and mass immigration have eroded this congruence. These transformations of the state have unsettled our understanding of where taxes are paid, how they are spend, and who ultimately benefits from them.

This project therefore seeks to understand people’s readiness to redistribute locally, nationally or supranationally, by analyzing how collective identities, generalized trust, national frames and decentralization influence preferences for redistribution at the local, national and European level. 

Research Methods 

By means of laboratory experiments using nested public goods provision games, dictator games and benevolent dictator games, the extent to which people prefer to redistribute previously made earnings at the local rather than the national or European level, and how the amount of redistributed money changes if they are forced to redistribute at a certain level, will be assessed.

By conducting experiments in Spain and the Netherlands, this project builds on and complements previously conducted research in Germany and the United Kingdom. By adding two new cases, the project seeks to understand whether redistributional behavior is dependent on contextual factors, such as decentralization and the sovereign debt crisis. In order to guarantee high external validity, experiments will be triangulated with opinion surveys among the British, Dutch, German and Spanish population. 

dr. T. (Theresa) Kuhn

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation