Pieter Bruegel, The Tower of Babel, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

The financial and sovereign debt crisis, pertinent European regulation, and the spill-over of the crisis into the real economy affect European societies severely. This holds true especially in the “Southern Belt” of the EU, where manifold consequences of the crisis can be observed: Economy is out of tune, unemployment shoots through the ceiling, in the time of need the financing of social security measures cannot be sustained any more, birth-rates drop while emigration rates rise, etc.
Against this backdrop, the task of the Thematic Area “Society” is to assess the impact of the crisis on European societies and develop scenarios for future developments.
Sample of Pertinent Research Questions 

  • How does the crisis affect labour-market developments on EU- and MS-level?  
  • What is the effect of the crisis on European demography? 
  • The future of national welfare states
  • How do citizens, interest groups and parties respond to integration policies and anti-crisis measures in particular? 
  • Do anti-crisis measures fuel Euro-skepticism? 
  • What role do media play in the crisis and in European integration in general?