Recent Article based on EVS data

Frangi, L., Koos, S., & Hadziabdic, S. (2017). In Unions We Trust! Analysing Confidence in Unions across Europe. British Journal of Industrial Relations.

** Abstract

Public institutions and trade unions in particular are often portrayed as facing a deep crisis. In order to better understand to what extent unions are still perceived as legitimate institutions from the society as a whole (working and non-working individuals), we analyse the determinants of confidence in unions across 14 European countries between 1981 and 2009. Confidence in unions is explained through individual-level variables (by a rational and an ideational mechanism) and contextual-level factors (relevant economic and employment relations characteristics). Using data from the European Values Study (EVS) merged with contextual datasets, we develop a series of regression models to examine the main determinants of confidence in unions. We demonstrate that confidence in unions cannot only be traced back to the support from members and left-wing oriented individuals but it is also related to non-working individuals and vulnerable social groups, in particular when confronted with economic shocks. Our findings challenge both the ‘crisis of confidence’ in institutions and the ‘crisis of unionism’ narratives. Implications for union representation and organizing strategies are discussed.




Anna Kurowska. (2017). The impact of an unconditional parental benefit on employment of mothers: A comparative study of Estonia and Lithuania. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 37(1/2), 33–50.


The purpose of this paper is to solve the puzzle of the disproportionately lower employment rate of mothers of toddlers with relation to the employment rate of mothers of preschool and school-age children in Estonia.
The comparison revealed that the overwhelming majority of the crucial aspects of socio-cultural, economic and institutional conditions were more favourable for maternal employment in Estonia than in Lithuania. This explains the higher maternal employment rates both for mothers of pre-schoolers and school-age children in Estonia. However, one particular element of the institutional context targeted to the mothers of toddlers – the unconditional parental benefit – had an entirely opposite character. This particular feature of the parental leave scheme was the only factor that could explain why the employment rate of mothers of toddlers is disproportionately lower than the employment rate of mothers of older children in Estonia and much lower than the employment of mothers of toddlers in Lithuania.



van der Meer, T., & Hakhverdian, A. (2017). Political Trust as the Evaluation of Process and Performance: A Cross-National Study of 42 European Countries. Political Studies, 65(1), 81–102.


This article extends and tests the trust-as-evaluation approach that is dominant in political science. Citizens supposedly grant and withhold trust in politics based on an assessment of its merits. We argue that the relevance of performances and processes should be conditional on the values that citizens hold dear and the accuracy with which they perceive them. Through multilevel analyses of the European Value Survey 2008, we model the (conditional) effects of a wide range of macro-economic outcomes and procedural characteristics on two aspects of political trust: satisfaction with democracy and confidence in political institutions. We find that macro-economic outcomes do not relate to political trust once we control for corruption. The effects of corruption and macro-economic outcomes are indeed stronger among the higher educated. However, the effect of macro-economic outcomes is not conditional on citizens’ values. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings for the use of the trust-as-evaluation approach.


Marckmann, B. (2017). All is not relative: intergenerational norms in Europe. European Societies, 0(0), 1–26.


Is the sense of obligation we feel towards our parents comparable to the one we feel towards our children? Most studies of normative solidarity measure only filial norms, that is, norms for children’s obligations towards parents, whilst largely ignoring parental norms, that is, norms for parents’ obligations towards children. This article quantitatively investigates parental and filial norms in 20 countries within 5 European regions. The article examines the question of whether the family cultures of North-West Europe can be understood as cultures of descending familialism, that is, cultures in which parental obligations are emphasised over filial obligations, as opposed to cultures of extreme individualism. The article contributes to the literature on family norms theoretically by showing that family cultures should be differentiated not merely by their strength but also by their direction, and methodologically by highlighting the importance of developing precise measures of both parental and filial norms. For the Nordic countries in particular, the analysis shows that the family culture is pluralistic, with the question of intergenerational responsibilities being one likely to provoke discussion in these societies for years to come.


Sieben, I. (2017). Child-rearing values: The impact of intergenerational class mobility. International Sociology, 32(3), 369–390.

This study contrasts two theoretical perspectives on the relationship between intergenerational class mobility and child-rearing values. According to the dissociative thesis, which describes social mobility as a disruptive experience leading to insecurity, social isolation, stress and frustration, socially mobile individuals less often prefer community-oriented qualities such as tolerance and respect for other people, unselfishness, good manners and obedience. The beneficiary thesis, on the other hand, predicts that socially mobile individuals have a stronger preference for individual-based values such as hard work, determination, responsibility, independence and thrift. In both cases, these mobility effects are thought to be stronger for more extremely mobile individuals and for downwardly mobile compared with upwardly mobile individuals. However, using Dutch data from the European Values Study 2008, hardly any significant intergenerational mobility effects are found. Maybe intergenerational mobility is not such an extraordinary experience as mobility theory would lead us to believe, or mobile individuals adjust themselves very quickly to their new situation.

This week's featured article

Visitors' Centre of the Europarliament

The European Values Study is one of the main data sources in the exhibition space on "United in Diversity" of Visitors' Centre of the Europarliament, in Brussels . This area is based on the idea that the European Union, despite the cultural differences and multitudinous interests, works together and…click for more details