Dr Maria Grasso's Research Featured in The Economist

Dr Maria Grasso's research on Europeans' perceptions of their relative living standards has featured in The Economist

The Economist has recently featured the research of Sheffield academic Dr Maria Grasso.

Dr Grasso is the Principal Investigator for "Individual Responses to Crisis", a 'work-package' of the research project LIVEWHAT "Living with Hard Times: How Citizens React to Economic Crises and their Social and Political Consequences". LIVEWHAT, funded by the European Commission, is a collaborative research project with research teams from 9 European countries and is coordinated by Marco Giugni at the University of Geneva.

Dr Grasso's research analyses how individual people respond to economic crisis. To this end, Dr Grasso directed a cross-national survey with 18,000 participants across the nine European countries the project considers - France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. She analysed the data and wrote the comparative report on perceptions of crisis across the countries of the project (see: D4.2. ‘Integrated report on individual responses to crises’).

The Economist reported on her findings, remarking on the "odd perceptions" that European citizens hold about the quality of life in neighbouring countries.

Dr Grasso said:

"We are delighted that our report which has just come out this month is already generating impact and being picked up by major publications such as The Economist. As we complete our data collection and analyse the data to write reports, peer-reviewed publications and other outputs, we are certain that LIVEWHAT will continue to generate many more relevant new insights for advancing inter-disciplinary knowledge on the way in which European citizens have responded to the economic crisis."

Other reseachers on Dr Grasso's team at the Department of Politics include: Luke Temple (Research Associate), Barbara Buraczynska (PhD Researcher), Sotirios Karampampas (PhD Researcher) as well as Patrick English (PhD Researcher at the University of Manchester).

Project information

Title of Research: Living with Hard Times: How European Citizens Deal with Economic Crises and Their Social and Political Consequences (LIVEWHAT)
Awarding Body: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on Citizens’ Resilience in Times of Crisis
People Involved: Maria Grasso and partners from other European institutions in a consortium led by Marco Giugni (University of Geneva)
Amount: €220,700 Dr. Grasso (€2,499,366 for the whole consortium)
Duration: 36 months from 1 December, 2013.

The proposed research deals with citizens’ reactions to economic crises and their social and political consequences. It examines in particular the ways in which European citizens have reacted to the crisis that, at different degree of intensity in different countries, struck Europe since 2008, but also how they deal with economic crises and their consequences more generally. We examine both individual and collective responses by citizens, both the “private” and the “public” dimensions of such responses, and both political and non-political responses. In addition, while the focus of the research is on citizens’ responses, we also examine policy responses so as to have a baseline for assessing citizens’ reactions to crises. The project has three main objectives: (1) to provide systematic evidence of the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences, both individually and collectively; (2) to advance knowledge on the connections between individual factors, contextual factors, and the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences; and (3) to suggest a number of good practices as to how to deal with economic crises, both at the social and political level, through which their negative consequences on European citizens can be avoided or limited. The project’s objectives are addressed by means of six main types of data and methods: (1) the creation of a cross-national comparative dataset on economic, social, and political indicators; (2) an analysis of policy responses to crises; (3) an analysis of collective responses to crises in the public domain; (4) an analysis of individual responses to crises by private citizens; (5) experiments designed to assess causal effects of different dimensions of crises on citizens’ attitudes and behaviors; and (6) an analysis of alternative forms of resilience in times of crisis.

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