Social Identity and Social Cohesion: How Disrespect threatens Social Cohesion

Do Social Inclusion Policies affect Pro-EU Integration Party Voting Behaviour among Social Groups?


  • Ibrahim Akinyemi University of Tuebingen
  • Martin Gross University of Tuebingen


Social identity, Eurosceptic, religion, migration, voting behaviour, integration, European Union, cohesion, election, inclusion, minorities


Social inclusion policies, a key focus of the European Union, target at bridging the social recognition gaps between lowly recognized and highly recognized social groups. However, while previously disadvantaged groups might benefit as regards to equal recognition through democratic instruments, the traditionally advantaged groups may feel threatened by inclusion policies resulting from political responsiveness to claims by disadvantaged groups since such responsiveness endangers their ‘special rights’. Using primarily longitudinal data from European Social Survey, Chapel Hill Expert Survey, and independent inclusion indices, our study suggests that higher social inclusion policies do not make the traditionally advantaged groups (natives and religious people) vote more for Eurosceptic parties; instead, the policies motivate them to vote more for pro-EU integration parties just like their traditionally disadvantaged counterparts (migrants and non-religious people). The implication is that inclusion policies are not the reasons for the gaps in voting for pro-EU integration parties in the national elections between the minorities and majorities.


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