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TRALEG: Trust, Associations and Legitimacy

Mutual trust, associational life and the legitimacy of the societal and political order all contribute to determining the level and nature of social cohesion. By combining micro and macro perspectives this Reseach Group hopes to shed light on the factors enabling the inducement of increasing social cohesion in Europe, in societies that experience rapid economic change and social reform.

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We will try to answer the following questions: Are knowledge-led economic growth and greater social cohesion, at the local, national or European-level, complementary or are there major structural and cultural tensions between their two key objectives? Are there institutional conditions that make it more likely that these objectives will be mutually supportive? Which political consequences could we expect if Europe fails to realise its twofold objective? How cohesive are European societies and what factors determine the level of cohesion? Are there emergent forms of inter-societal trust and cohesion in Europe, within and across Member States?