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Dr Sara Hobolt awarded the NORFACE Pilot Research Grant

Dr Sara Hobolt has been awarded a NORFACE Pilot Research grant to fund a project on Religion, Euroscepticism and the Media (REM).

NORFACE - New Opportunities for Research Funding Co-operation in Europe - is a partnership between twelve research councils to increase co-operation in research and research policy in Europe. The REM project is a collaborative project with five scholars from the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and the UK, which is hosted at the University of Amsterdam. The project will run from 2007 to 2010.

This project takes as its starting point the rise of Euroskepticism across Europe and the (re-)emergence of religious cleavages. No theory of European integration foresaw the emergence of mass public scepticism towards the integration project. European politicians and scholars alike are searching for answers to better understand the emergence and possible consolidation of Euroscepticism. The recent reluctance towards European integration coincides with a) the presence of conflicts between social and political groups and between countries, often with clear religious dimensions, such as Turkey`s membership of the EU and b) the electoral success of anti-immigration and populist political parties across Europe. These processes all take place in established democracies in which the media play a central role in the relationship between politics and citizens. This collaborative cross-nationally comparative research proposal is located in the intersection between Euroscepticism, media and religion.

The project draws on several data sources, including existing and new to be collected data. The project relies on large already collected survey and media content data sets, including the European Social Survey (ESS), European parliamentary post elections surveys (EES), Eurobarometer surveys, studies of national referendums on issues of European integration, and media content analysis data of the campaigns leading up to national referenda and the 1999 and 2004 European parliamentary elections. In addition, new survey and media content data as well as experimental data will be collected.

Dr Sara Hobolt is University Lecturer in Comparative European Politics and Tutorial Fellow in Politics, Lincoln College.