The ERC Synergy Project SOLID is a collaborative project hosted at the European University Institute (EUI), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the University of Milano. The SOLID project aims to provide an original general theory of political crisis through the study of the several crises that have hit the EU in the last decade. In doing so, it aims to understand how the severe crisis situation can go together with resilience from the EU. Covering developments since 2009, SOLID aims at assessing the overall soundness of the EU’s foundations in the wake of the political crisis. In order to capture both disruption and resilience, the project proposes to disentangle the “deep” political dimension of the crisis from more policy-specific challenges and analyze it through 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? Rooted in political economy, comparative political sociology, and policy analysis, SOLID collects extensive data on processes, conflicts, and coalitions through qualitative and quantitative methods, including innovative techniques.
The Center for Civil Society Research – a joint initiative of the WZB Social Science Center and Freie Universität Berlin – has an integrative research approach that systematically combines research on political protest and social movements with the empirical analysis of political conflict structuration and social capital. The research program in the center’s founding phase is divided into three main areas. The first area is devoted to the analysis of long-term changes of political conflict structuring. The projects in this area shall provide insights into the development of mobilization potentials in civil society, the restructuring of political conflict in the protest and electoral area, and into the politicization of societal key issues. The projects in the second area focus on changes in the organizational landscapes of civil society and the dynamic interaction of different political actors and arenas. The projects in the third area deal with research problems at the interface of social capital and political protest. In the longer term the Center should cover the entire field of civil society research and strengthen networking among science, civil society and politics.