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Fighting together, moving apart? European common defence and shared security in an age of Brexit and Trump

1 October 2018 - 1 October 2021

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Jason Reifler, Dr Catarina Thomson

Research partners: PI: Principal investigator: Harald Schoen (University of Mannheim). Co-investigators: Filip Ejdus (Belgrade), Martial Foucault (Paris), Catherine Hoeffler (Bordeaux), Stephanie Hofmann (Geneva), Pierangelo Isernia (Siena), Jean Joana (Montpellier), Theresa Kuhn (Amsterdam), Bogdan Radu (Babes-Bolyai), Jason Reifler (Exeter), Thomas Scotto (Glasgow), Seiki Tanaka (Leeds), and Catarina Thomson (Exeter).

Funding awarded: 977200EUR

Sponsor(s): Volkswagen Stiftung

About the research

The SecEUrity Project examines the dynamic relationship between elites and masses in policy-making about common defence in the multi-level European system.

Two overarching questions are at the heart of the project: What and how do elites and European mass publics think about greater (European) defence, security, and military integration? More specifically, the project seeks to achieve the following seven objectives:

(1) studying what mass publics and security elites understand by “common defence”;

(2) estimating the level of public support for or opposition to a vast array of possible forms of defence integration across Europe, including support for some form of European military;

(3) exploring differences in citizen perceptions and preferences across regions within the EU;

(4) identifying individual-level values, predispositions, attitudes, and demographic factors that shape support for or opposition to defence integration; (

5) examining how elite cues, social cues, and real-world events affect defence integration attitudes;

(6) analysing the interplay of media content, individual media exposure, and mass opinion toward European defence and security integration; 

(7) evaluating how (and how accurately) elites perceive mass opinion toward European defence and security integration, and vice versa.