Project: The Rural-Urban Divide in Europe

Acronym RUDE (Reference Number: 462-19-070)
Project Topic Rising populism and polarization, coupled with declining democratic legitimacy, all point toward a crisis in European democracies. This crisis has a regional dimension: a political and perhaps cultural divide between rural and urban areas. The project examines whether and how urban-rural residency is related to divides in legitimacy beliefs, social identities, perceptions of injustice and threat, political and social attitudes and political behavior of European citizens. It explores “Democratic governance in a turbulent age” from different thematic angles. First, it deals with shifting identities and their consequences for democratic governance and political representation (theme 4). Stable cleavages only emerge when struggles for identity are accompanied by perceptions of social inequality and unfair resource distribution (theme 1). Second, it examines the role played by globalization: increasing rural-urban economic divides create social status threats which exacerbate rural-urban political divides (theme 2). The project will combine a broad comparative study of all European countries with an in-depth analysis of five established European democracies. The project will result in the provision of significant new evidence on rural-urban disparities in European politics, which will allow us to examine the consequences of – and cures for – the current crisis of democracy, thereby engaging both academic and policymaking audiences. The coordination of the project, setting of the agenda, and the timely delivery of work packages will be the responsibility of the Frankfurt team. In particular, the project will be coordinated by holding five internal workshops and using a shared cloud server.
Network Governance
Call Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Frankfurt Coordinator Germany
2 University of Glasgow Partner United Kingdom
3 University of Bern Partner Switzerland
4 Autonomous Universit of Barcelona Partner Spain
5 Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Grenoble Partner France