Dr Maria Grasso Awarded Prestigious European Horizon 2020 Grant for Three-Year Project on Trans-national Solidarity in Times of Crisis

Photo: Maria Grasso

Dr Maria Grasso
Lecturer in Politics and Quantitative Methods

Dr Maria Grasso has been awarded a €134,980 European Horizon 2020 Grant for a three-year research project on trans-national solidarity in times of crisis. 

Dr Grasso will work as part of a European consortium of researchers from eight European countries led by Professor Christian Lahusen (University of Siegen) (total funding €2,483, 805). The project began on 1 June 2015 and will end on 31 May 2018. 

The University of Sheffield team on TransSOL is mainly responsible for the cross-national survey work-package and is made up of Principal Investigator Dr Maria Grasso (Lecturer in Politics and Quantitative Methods) and Sotirios Karampampas (PhD Researcher at the Department of Politics) assisting with the research.

Dr Grasso said of the project: 
"We are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious and highly competitive grant. In the current political context, it is particularly important that the European Union continues to fund important research on trans-national solidarity such as that planned in the context of the new Horizon 2020 collaborative project TransSOL. This research is likely to generate important new insights that will be both theoretically relevant in their own right but also useful for the evidence-based design of future policies for the integration of various marginalised social groups such as migrants, the unemployed and people with disabilities."

TransSOL is a major €2.5m European research project analysing the impact of the international economic crisis. The economic crisis in Europe has placed solidarity at the top of public and policy agendas. But how strong is solidarity amongst Europeans, after almost 60 years of European integration? What do we know about beneficial and detrimental factors? And what should be done to safeguard or enhance European solidarity at the level of citizens, non-governmental organisations and policies? These and other questions are at the centre of TransSOL.

TransSOL is dedicated to providing systematic and practise-related knowledge about European solidarity at times of crisis. It brings together researchers and civil society practitioners from eight European countries—Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Project summary

Dr Grasso is Principal Investigator for the cross national survey work-package on a new Horizon 2020 collaborative project on transnatonal solidarity in time of crisis:

Awarding Body: European Commission Horizon 2020 Call H2020-EURO-SOCIETY-2014 
People Involved: Maria Grasso and partners from other European institutions in a consortium led by Christian Lahusen (University of Siegen) 
Title of Research: European paths to transnational solidarity at times of crisis: Conditions, forms, role-models and policy responses (TransSOL) 
Amount: €134,980 Dr Grasso (€2,483, 805 for the whole consortium) 
Duration: 36 months from 1 June, 2015.

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Abstract: TransSOL is committed to the systematic, interdisciplinary and praxis-oriented analysis of European solidarity in times of crisis. It has three overarching objectives: (a) it will map and analyse solidarity in Europe by means of a cross-national database that comprises three surveys addressing the general population, organized civil society, and claims-making in the media; (b) it will gather systematic data on the contextual factors and engage into political and legal analyses to ascertain the influence of the socio-economic, political, and legal context on solidarity, in particular the impact of the crisis, the EU’s political responses and target-groups specific public policies; and (c) it will identify and develop best practices of transnational solidarity, draft evidence-based policy recommendations, and engage proactive dissemination and communication activities. The project comprises teams from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the UK, including scientists from various disciplines and civil society practitioners, thus promising to deliver interdisciplinary and comparative analyses, knowledge-transfer and evidence-based, practicable recommendations.The project will enable us to address the three topics of the call. First, TransSOL will provide the first rigorous and comprehensive analysis of transnational solidarity in Europe, its main forms, conditioning factors (e.g., individual features a gender and social class, spatial inequalities, and contextual factors), and underlying conflicts about contending norms, identities, and interests. Secondly, the project will address the impact of Europe’s cultural diversity and multiple identities on European solidarity by analysing public claims-making and debates within the media. And finally, we engage into a critical reflection about adequate policy responses, in particular about the potentials of social investments balancing civic virtues of solidarity with public responsibilities.


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