TransSOL - European Paths to Transnational Solidarity at Times of Crisis

Project Description

TransSOL aimed at producing a systematic, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented analysis of European solidarity in times of crisis. It had three overarching objectives: (a) to map and analyse solidarity in Europe by means of a cross-national databases that comprised three surveys addressing the general population, organized civil society, and claims-making in the media; (b) to gather systematic data on the contextual factors and conduct political and legal analyses to assess the influence of the socio-economic, political, and legal context on solidarity, in particular the impact of the crisis, the EU’s political responses and target-groups specific public policies; and (c) to identify and develop best practices of transnational solidarity, draft evidence-based policy recommendations, and engage proactively in dissemination and communication activities. The project comprised teams from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the UK. It included scientists from various disciplines as well as civil society practitioners, which allowed delivering interdisciplinary and comparative analyses, knowledge-transfer and evidence-based, practicable recommendations.

The project enabled us to address the three topics of the call. First, TransSOL provided the first rigorous and comprehensive analysis of transnational solidarity in Europe, its main forms, conditioning factors (e.g., individual features as gender and social class, spatial inequalities, and contextual factors), and underlying conflicts about contending norms, identities, and interests. Secondly, the project addressed the impact of Europe’s cultural diversity and multiple identities on European solidarity by analysing public claims-making and debates within the media. And finally, we engaged ina critical reflection about adequate policy responses, in particular about the potentials of social investments balancing civic virtues of solidarity and public responsibilities.

To know more: Final report

Project website:


Consortium Information

Project Coordinator: University of Siegen, Christian Lahusen


University of Crete, Maria Kousis

University of Copenhagen, Hans-Jörg Trenz

University of Geneva, Marco Giugni

European Alternatives, Lorenzo Marsili

University of Florence, Carlo Fusaro

Glasgow Caledonian University, Simone Baglioni

Science Po Paris, Manilo Cinalli

University of Sheffield, Maria Grasso

University of Warsaw, Maria Theiss


Dataset 1:  Online mass survey

The dataset consists of survey data on attitudes toward solidarity in eight European countries. More specifically, this includes variables on attitudes and dispositions related to solidarity as well as the extent of support for the rights of certain groups or for redistributive politics. In addition, variables measure if solidarity dispositions are general or limited to either people from a specific geographical area or to a specific group of people (refugees, unemployed, disabled). Furthermore, information on charitable as well as more political solidarity actions performed by the respondent is provided. This includes more demanding (i.e. participating in a voluntary association) or less demanding actions (i.e. boycott).

Spatial Coverage: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, UK

Time Method:  Cross-sectional

Analysis Unit: Individual

Universe:  National population of the eight countries

Mode of Data Collection: Online survey

Sampling Description: About 2000 respondents per country (total N=16000). Respondent samples were matched to national statistics with quotas for education, age, gender and region.

Data Collection Instruments: Questionnaire

Further Documentation: Documentation and questionnaire

How to Get the Data?  To access the dataset, click here.

How to Cite? Lahusen, Christian (2021). TransSOL - Individual forms of solidarity at times of crisis. Data File Version 1.0.0,

Selected publications:

Lahusen, Christian and Maria T. Grasso (eds.) (2018). Solidarity in Europe: Citizens' responses in times of crisis. Springer Nature.
Grasso, M.T. and Lahusen, C. (eds) (2019) European Solidarity at a Crossroads? Citizens’ Attitudes and Political Behaviors in Europe. Special Issue of American Behavioral Scientist.


Dataset 2:  Claims analysis

The dataset contains claims related to transnational solidarity in the context of the refugee crisis in 2015/2016. The aim was to study public claims-making and the underlying ideas and norms of solidarity discussed in the mainstream mass media and online media. In particular, we sought to identify the extent to which European solidarity is granted public awareness and recognition, and what claims on behalf of or against European solidarity are made, and by whom. Moreover, we aimed to understand the discursive construction, reproduction or corrosion of European solidarity in all its contentiousness. Finally, we wished to show how claims and discourses about European solidarity are related to debates about European identities and cultures, and what effects contentions between various allegiances have. Findings helped to better understand if and to what extent public discourses, collective images and public opinions might have an inhibiting or beneficial impact on transnational solidarity at the individual and organizational levels.

Spatial Coverage: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, UK

Time Method:  Cross-sectional

Analysis Unit: Claims

Universe:  All claims made in regards to the refugee crisis in national newspapers

Mode of Data Collection: Content analysis

Sampling Description: A representative number of national newspapers (quality newspapers and tabloid-oriented newspapers) from different political orientations was selected. Furthermore, newspapers from different political orientations were chosen. All articles containing the two words “refugee” (and its derivatives) and “asylum” were selected and coded if they referred to the refugee crisis of 2015/2016. Included were all articles reporting political decisions, verbal statements, direct solidarity action or protest actions on a number of themes that refer explicitly or obviously to the ‘refugee crisis’. Claims concerning the activities of actors who claimed to be victims of the ‘refugee crisis’ were also coded. Then, claims were randomly sampled to yield about 700 claims per country (total N=5948).

Data Collection Instruments: Questionnaire

Further Documentation: Codebook

How to Get the Data? To access the dataset, click here.

How to Cite? Lahusen, Christian (2021). TransSOL - Transnational solidarity and collective identities in the public sphere. Data File Version 1.0.0,

Selected Publications:

Cinalli, Manlio, Hans-Jörg Trenz, Verena Brändle, Olga Eisele and Christian Lahusen  (2021). Solidarity in the Media and Public Contention over Refugees in Europe. London: Routledge.


Selected Publications (general):

Lahusen, Christian (ed.) (2020). Citizens' Solidarity in Europe.  Civic Engagement and Public Discourse in Times of Crises. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.