Similarities between European and national solidarity. An empirical thought experiment applied to 13 European countries

Zsófia S. Ignácz

This paper examines similarities between attitudes towards European redistribution

and attitudes towards national redistribution. It maps out possible reasons for expected

similarities between the two spatial levels in the degree redistribution is supported

and also the underlying mechanisms that foster support rates. To examine the

underlying mechanisms, the paper employs a structural equation modelling approach.

Despite vastly different institutional settings, findings indicate that the degree

of support for redistribution at the national and at the European level are comparable.

And we can also identify a similar structure in mechanisms fostering support rates

at the European level compared to the one at the national level. Moreover, the strength

of these mechanisms is also comparable at the respective spatial level. The results have

important consequences for our understanding of transnational mechanisms. They

suggest that social entities transcending national borders possess features comparable

to national social entities (i.e., nation states). Overall, this potentially suggests that

national conflict lines have the capacity to be carried over into the transnational space

(e.g., the European social space).

Keywords: redistribution, attitudes, European solidarity, cross-national analysis, structural equation modelling, multi-group analysis


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