City Research Online

Social Cohesion in the Time of Crisis: An Empirical Research on EU Member States

Addeo, F., Diana, P., Bottoni, G. & Esposito, M. (2017). Social Cohesion in the Time of Crisis: An Empirical Research on EU Member States. Athens Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), pp. 229-248. doi: 10.30958/ajss.4-3-2


The sociological concept of Social Cohesion, after a first stage in which it gained spread and notoriety within social sciences, has been abandoned in favor of other similar concepts, such as integration and solidarity. However, during the last twenty years, the concept has regained relevance mainly thanks to the intervention of several institutions, both national and international (OECD, EU, World Bank, Governments of some countries, such as England, France and Canada), that have reconsidered the concept of Social Cohesion, adapting it to their governance needs. The present work aims at proposing an effective and reliable theoretical and operational definition for the concept of Social Cohesion, starting from the contribution of those scholars (Stiglitz, Sen and Fitoussi 2009) that claimed the inadequacy of measuring the welfare of a country only through economic indicators. In other words, the aim of this contribution is to provide a concept of Social Cohesion that will take into account not only economic factors, but also other fundamental dimensions that define the Welfare of a country, such as active citizenship, trust, shared values and integration. The concept of Social Cohesion is defined with the aid of several databases (Eurostat, but also academic datasets) from which different socio-economic indicators for the 27 EU Member States will be drawn. Data are analyzed through an explorative factor analysis approach, whose main result will be the creation of a Social Cohesion composite index. The Social Cohesion Index will rank the 27 EU Member States. Moreover, the research will consider a comparative analysis among different models of Social Cohesion observed in the European countries, with particular reference to the differences between the States of Southern Europe and those with different welfare systems, typical of Northern Europe.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Comparative analysis, Composite indicators, Social cohesion, Two-stage principal component analysis, Welfare
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 2017-4-3-2-.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (807kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login