SOLID - Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics

Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics. Sovereignty, Solidarity and Identity in the EU Post 2008 (SOLID)

The last decade has been a decennium horribile for the EU as it was hit by a series of policy crises that stressed its institutions to breaking point. These crises have added up and escalated into a deep political crisis which has shaken the EU’s very foundations. Even so, the Union has proven to be resilient and made significant institutional advances, such as the banking union.

This project is interested in explaining how crisis and resilience can go together. It will study the political crisis through the lens of a coalition-centered approach. How did coalitions unravel and (re-)establish themselves in order to address the sectoral crises? How deeply has such coalition formation under duress impacted on established channels of representation?

The initial case selection comprises the euro area crisis, refugee burden-sharing, Brexit and internal separatism, as well as the severe social crisis experienced by many member states. It will cover the fifteen year period from 2010 to 2024. This case selection captures different problem structures created by the temporal modes of a crisis (greater or lesser predictability of occurrence and immediacy of effect). The hypothesis is that different problem structures vary in their potential to unleash political conflict, resulting in different modes of crisis policymaking. Extensive data collection and analysis will trace crisis politics on both the supply and on the demand side, exploring policy-specific contention and coalitional dynamics, in the wider context of the foundational conflicts over sovereignty, solidarity and identity.

The objective of the project is to uncover whether these dynamics respond to the quality of policy-making or not, reflecting a deeper alienation of citizens from EU policymaking. Eventually, the aim is that of assessing the overall soundness of the EU’s innovations in the wake of the political crisis and thus whether the observed resilience can develop into a durable institutional configuration.

Principal investigators

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Professor Waltraud Schelkle is Professor in Political Economy at the LSE European Institute.

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Professor Maurizio Ferrera is Full Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan.

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Professor Hanspeter Kriesi is Stein Rokkan Chair of Comparative Politics at European University Institute, Florence.

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Research Team


Joseph Ganderson is a Research Officer on the SOLID project at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Zbigniew Truchlewski is a Research Officer on the SOLID project at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Project Details

Research Grant - ERC Synergy Grant

Proposal duration in months - 72 months, starting 1st July 2019

Papers and publications

Published papers

Pending update

Working papers

Pending update

Events and conferences

Conferences, seminars, workshops

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Professor Waltraud Schelkle

London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom