Public Attitudes to Welfare, Climate Change and Energy in the EU and Russia (PAWCER)

Project Lead: Marcel Fink
Team: Johannes Pollak, Peter Grand
Duration: July 2016 – March 2018
Funding: FWF Wissenschaftsfonds

The goal of the PAWCER project is to conduct comparative research on public attitudes to welfare, climate change and energy, all of which are relevant to understanding conflict, identity, and memory. While economic challenges threaten the fundamental relations of solidarity in European welfare states, climate change is likely to become the leading environmental driver of human conflict, and energy to continue fueling geopolitical tensions.

Cross-national analyses of survey and contextual data will be used to examine discrepancies and similarities, as well as diverging and converging trends between public attitudes to these topics, thus unraveling the sources and patterns of mutual understanding and cooperation and of potential conflicts in and between EU countries and Russia. The research will be based on the collection of survey data and the analyses of both existing and new data sets.

Data will be collected through the European Social Survey. The ESS is an academically driven biennial crossnational survey, measuring the attitudes, beliefs and behavior patterns of diverse populations. It has been awarded European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status in December 2013. PAWCER will allow Russia to join ESS Round 8, for which fieldwork starts in September 2016, and so create a basis for long-term cooperation.

PAWCER is conducted by an international research consortium under the lead of GESIS. The Institute for Advanced Studies, together with the European Centre for European Welfare Policy and Research (Vienna), at first instance takes the lead in collecting appropriate contextual information, both general statistical one (matching Russian statistics with EU sources) and topic specific information. This implies identifying the sources for comparable European-Russian statistical data (with any work to be done of harmonizing) to serve the comparative analysis of welfare attitudes as well as public attitudes to climate change and energy.