The middle class in Europe
A book about the middle class. It's the result of a cooperation between three political think-tanks (CDA Research Institute-WI, Konrad Adenauer Foundation-KAS, and Wilfried Martens Centre-WMC) and 15 researchers from nine European countries. The editors are Arjen Siegmann (CDA-WI) and Matthias Schäfer (KAS).
Read the book
The book is available as pdf here (6 mb).
About the authors
Christian Arndt is Professor of Economics and Empirical Economic Research at the HfWU, University of Nürtingen-Geislingen and Research Fellow at the Institute for Applied Economic Research, IAW, in Tübingen.
Rosamaria Bitetti is Lecturer in Public Policy and Researcher at Luiss LAPS, Rome. She is Fellow of Istituto Bruno Leoni, Milan and economic consultant at the OECD, Paris.
Delma Byrne is Lecturer in Sociology at Maynooth University. Her research focuses on social stratification the sociology of education, and the role of education in shaping life chances over the life-course, including labour market experiences.
Jani Erola is Professor of Sociology at the University of Turku. His research has mainly focused on social inequalities and their inheritance.
Pauline Grégoire-Marchand is Project Manager at France Stratégie. Her research interests are in applied economics devoted to household overindebtedness.
Esa Karonen is a Project Researcher and a PhD-student at the University of Turku, working on intergenerational economic inequalities from the perspective of life-cycle theory.
Miguel Marín Cózar is an economist, founder and CEO of AEI. He is responsible for Economy and Public Policy at the FAES Foundation. He was chief adviser to the Popular Parliamentary Group in the Spanish Congress and economic adviser to the Spanish prime minister.
Federico Morganti is Researcher at LAPS - Laboratorio analisi politiche e sociali at LUISS Guido Carli, Rome. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Sapienza Università di Roma and is currently Human Resources Manager at SIDA Group Management Academy, Rome.
Mikko Niemelä is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Research, Turku University and part-time research professor at the Social Insurance Institutions of Finland.
Filip Pazderski is a Policy Analyst and Project Manager in the Society and Democracy Program of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) in Warsaw (Poland), an independent, non-partisan public policy think tank.
Elisa Rodríguez is an economist specialising in International Relations and EU affairs, Economy and Public Policy at the FAES Foundation.
Matthias Schäfer is Head of the Economic Policy team of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Berlin.
Arjen Siegmann is Senior Economist at the CDA Research Institute and Associate Professor of Finance at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Mila Staneva is a Junior Research Associate at the Department of Education and Family at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and a Ph.D. candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Her research interests lie in the field of empirical educational research.
Rumiana Stoilova is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute fоr the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Her research interest focuses on stratification and inequalities in the life course prespective.
Why this book?
The idea for a book about the European middle class started back in 2016. Could it be that political unrest and negative sentiments about Europe are related to the position of the average household? It is always easy to dismiss populist trends as a result of fear-mongering, but maybe they have a point, and we wanted to analyse how households perceive their position, the changes in society and prospects for the future.
A common project between CDA-WI, Martens Centre and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation was born in October 2016. We contacted several authors from different European countries and got together at a workshop hosted by the Martens Centre in Brussels on June 13, 2017. (The photos on the right were taken there.)
What are the main findings?
First, we are at the end of a long, slow recession, but households do not feel any joy about that. Social security is less, jobs are more flexible and at risk of being outsourced or automated. The worries are found in all countries in our book, and that is remarkable.
Second, we see households in Southern-European countries being most frustrated at the lack of progress.
Third, households in Central Europe enjoy a higher standard of living than ever before, but their joy is muted. Familiar structures of society have been uprooted, but the progress towards living standards of the West has been much slower than expected.
The findings of the book gives food for thought. In a number of symposia across Europe we want to discuss the outcomes and challenge policy makers to formulate what they think needs to happen to address the concerns of ordinary households and citizens.