European Integration, Social Cohesion, and Political Contentiousness

  • Christian LahusenEmail author


This chapter deals with the effects of European integration and enlargement on social cohesion and the political contentiousness of the European Union. Two major developments are analyzed. On the one hand, the chapter demonstrates that Europe is not governed by one cleavage or fault line but by a series of societal grievances distributed unevenly across regions and social classes. On the other hand, European integration is committed to promote social cohesion between European citizens and regions, by reducing inequalities, furthering shared identities, and providing opportunities for cross-national organization and mobilization. The chapter argues that segregations along core-periphery and class structures prevail, because chances to socialize and mobilize for common causes are much more developed within the European “core” than in the periphery and within the privileged classes than among the underprivileged or marginalized social strata. Political contentions should therefore be governed by a marked spatial and social selectivity.


European Union Social Capital Gross Domestic Product Social Cohesion Political Contention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social ScienceUniversity of SiegenSiegenGermany

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