This project is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung as part of the Challenges for Europe scheme.

Project leader: Prof. Maarten van Zalk (Osnabrück University)

Project partners: dr hab. Marcin Bukowski, prof. UJ (Jagiellonian University), Prof. Oliver Christ (FernUniversität in Hagen), Prof. Miranda Lubbers (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Prof. Eva Jaspers (Utrecht University).

About the project:

The project team focuses their research on inclusivity norms, which are social group norms that promote equality-based respect, dialogue, and unity, to prevent the harmful consequences of polarization for the social tissue of European communities. The goal of the project is to advance research on current European challenges in three ways. First, to provide an evidence-based approach to countering polarization in Europe. Second, they use experimental and network approaches o inclusivity norms, is meant to uncover the relational nature of norm transmission, as well as the conditions under which inclusivity norms amplify tolerance, contact, and cooperation. Third, the project will result in open-access empirical data on similarities and differences in inclusivity norms between 16 European countries and groups within European countries, including EU separatist movements (e.g., Catalonia). The team will use an interdisciplinary and mixed-methods approach, which combines a cross-European survey, laboratory experiments, social network analysis, and an evaluation of school-based interventions to study how inclusivity norms can change individuals’ attitudes and behavior toward opposing groups. With the project the team intends to provide knowledge on how to optimize transmission and adoption of inclusivity norms in contemporary Europe. The project team plans to transfer valuable knowledge to both stakeholders and the general public by creating an international hub of research on inclusivity norms, facilitated by implementing workshops, conferences, a multilingual website specifically designed for practitioners and non-experts, and ongoing collaborations with these and other stakeholders.