The article "Swinging Leftward: Public Opinion on Economic and Political Integration in Latin America, 1997-2010", co-authored with Lara Minkus, has just been published open access at Latin American Research Review. The paper argues that coinciding with the shift to the left in Latin American politics, regional integration in Latin America accelerated during the last two decades. Yet, whereas support for European integration has been tracked systematically for decades, trend analyses of public opinion on Latin American integration are still missing. Combining data from eight Latinobarometer surveys on 106,590 respondents from seventeen South and Central American countries, this article provides the first longitudinal analysis of Latin Americans’ support for their continent’s economic and political integration. Using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression, we reveal intra- and intersocietal trends and cleavages. Our results show that support rates are generally declining from high initial levels. Furthermore, while gender and educational gaps in public opinion remained stable over time, considerable shifts occurred with regard to political orientation: starting from the lowest initial values, the left surpassed the right—and, at least in the case of support for political integration, also the center—to become the political wing favoring integration most highly. This finding shows, contrary to prevailing ideas, that the political center is not necessarily the primary supporter of integration. When regionalism is increasingly driven by left-wing governments, public support for regional integration may also swing to the left.
The paper "The Power of Contact: Europe as a Network of Transnational Attachment", coauthored with Jan Delhey, Monika Verbalyte, and Auke Aplowski, has just been published online first at the European Journal of Political Research. A free pre-print version is available here.
In this article, we propose transnational attachment as a novel indicator of sense of community in Europe, arguing that this hitherto neglected dimension is substantially and structurally different from alternative ones such as cross-border trust and identification. Combining Eurobarometer 73.3 data on ties between all EU-27 countries with further dyadic data, we show empirically that the European network of transnational attachment has an asymmetric core-periphery structure centered around five extremely popular countries (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain). In line with transactionalist theory, cross-border mobility and communication are strongly related to transnational attachment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the network of transnational attachment is much denser among those with a higher than among those with a lower level of education. Our results suggest that offering European citizens incentives to travel to peripheral countries may help counterbalance the current asymmetric structure of transnational attachment, thereby increasing Europe’s social cohesion.
"On the Europeanization of Actions and Attitudes: A Macrosociological Comparison of the EU Member States", a paper co-authored with Jan Delhey, has been published (in German) at Berliner Journal für Soziologie in a special issue on Horizontal Europeanization edited by Christian Lahusen and Susanne Pernicka.
A new article titled "People Matter: Recent Sociological Contributions to Understanding European Integration from Below", co-authored with Jan Delhey, has just appeared in the Council of European Studies' journal Perspectives on Europe. The Article summarizes some of our findings from the first funding phase of the Horizontal Europeanization project (2012-15), as well as some insights from my PhD project Mapping the Transnational World. It is available online for free.
A draft version of my paper The Spatial Structure of Transnational Human Activity is now available online in the arXiv.
The map below shows exemplarily one type of communication that is analyzed in the paper: transnational Facebook friendships. The black lines denote the country pairs with the highest number of Facebook friendships. For the purposes of this study, they constitute the equivalent of the steps the random walker takes in the Lévy flight figure above. (NB: The Facebook data was obtained from an interactive graph, converted into a network matrix and graphically mapped using Manish Nag's fantastic free software SONOMA).
The third figure below shows the spatial structure of these Facebook friendships. The x-axis shows the distance (in km) and the y-axis states the probability of a transnational Facebook friendship to occur. The blue circles denote binned observations and the black line is a fitted power-law curve. The inset shows the same observations on logarithmic axes, on which the power-law curve forms a straight line.