Social inequalities cannot be solely understood in the context of nation-states anymore. The investigation of inequalities which are produced and regulated in a multi-level system on a regional, national and European basis is therefore a central challenge for European sociology.

In this project, we first aim to describe the structure of income inequality. Secondly, we want to capture the scope of the unequal endowment with material goods and the differing opportunities of participation of specific groups of individuals in the areas of employment, housing, education, health care and social participation. Based on this analysis of deprivation in multiple social situations, an account of the multidimensionality of poverty will be given. The empirical basis of our research endeavour is a set of European micro data, in particular EU-SILC and the Labour Force Survey. In the third step the reconstructed patterns of disparities will be explained with recourse to regional demographic-, economic - and labor market structures, national institutions and European market integration and regulatory policies.

This way we can examine whether the "inequality spaces", which hitherto are constituted in a national context, are opening up through supranational integration processes and subnational processes of differentiation.

Even though nation-state policies and institutions do still substantially affect the social situation of the population, the sub- and supranational processes of differentiation could be interpreted as an indicator of an Europeanization of social inequalities.

Project Researchers in Oldenburg

Sven Broschinski

Fabian Hamann





From 2012 to 2015 (second phase to 2018), the project is financed within the Research Unit Horizontal Europeanization by the German Research Foundation.

Project Website

For further information on the Research Unit, please visit its website.