Project Project
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The Denationalization of Problem Perceptions and the Assignment of Responsibility to Political Institutions

September 2007 - December 2008
Dr. Matthias Ecker-Ehrhardt
Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn
Short description of the project

Representative survey of the German population on cross-border perceptions of issues and ascriptions of responsibility to national, transnational, and international institutions

In this joint project, the research units "Democracy: Structures, Performance, Challenges" and "Transnational Conflicts and International Institutions" analyse as to which degree and for which reasons citizens are (increasingly) ascribing responsibility for solving urgent problems to international political institutions and organisations. The project’s focus is on the following three aspects:

  • First, there is broad political and scientific consensus that people are becoming more and more aware of globalisation. Nevertheless, there is a deficit of empirical studies on the perception of “cross-border” problems distinguishing between issues.
  • Second, there are competing hypotheses on the causes and conditions of such a denationalisation of problem perceptions, e.g., cognitive mobilisation, the universalization of norms, cross-border communication, or moments of identification, but systematic research on the individual level is still missing.
  • Third, there are first insights into the relation of perceptions of problems and ascriptions of responsibility for acting or support for different institutions respectively, but those insights have still to be differentiated according to different problem areas and institutions.