Grants & Projects


PROJECT WITH BROOKINGS: The One Percent Problem: Muslims in the West and the Rise of the New Populists

REPORT: The New Right: Austria’s Freedom Party and changing perceptions of Islam by Farid Hafez, Reinhard Heinisch, and Eric Miklin Wednesday, July 24, 2019


PaCE — Populism and Civic Engagement


The rise and growth of parties and movements that claim to speak and act in the name of the „ordinary people“ and challenge and attack the liberal elite as being corrupt could be observed in most parts of Europe. This set of idea surrounding this antagonism between people and elite can be summarized under the term „populism“, which quickly became a frequently used buzzword in both media and academics. 

The EU Horizon 2020 project „Populism and Civic Engagement“ (PaCE) aims at understanding and addressing causes, characteristics and consequences of the current rise of populist parties and movements in Europe, to develop instruments to tackle the negative tendencies of rising populism.

The project involves nine partners from all across Europe and runs from February 2019 until January 2022. Its objectives are (1) to trace the historical growth and political consequences of illiberal, nativist and anti-democratic populist parties for the European Union (EU) project and democracy, (2) to study the general and specific causes for these three modes of populism in European democracies, distinguishing between demand and supply side as well as internal and external causes, (3) to study, propose and test policy-oriented responses to each of the three modes of populism, (4) to identify strategies to strengthen democratic values and practices taking into account the role of traditional and social media as well as public opinion and (5) to engage with stakeholders, especially groups underrepresented in public affairs, such as younger citizens and include schools and local communities in order to apply particular findings of the project.

Link to the EU Page of the Project

YouTube Video on Understanding the Populist Sympathizer

PaCE on YouTube

Link to the project’s facebook page


Previous Projects

* Determinants of Eurosceptical Voting Behavior in CEE Countries and Party Responses (DEVBCEEC)

European Commission funded FP7-PEOPLE-2010-RG MC-IRG (Project ID: 268340)

The project intends to undertake a quantitative cross-national study of the successes of Eurosceptic political parties in Central and East Europe (CEE). It approaches this question in a novel way by exploiting systematic but unexplained attitudinal differences between mass publics in the CEE states and Western Europe. In doing so, it addresses empirically one of the central questions of contemporary European politics, the perception of European integration and the causes of the growing disenchantment in a part of the European public. As this issue routinely receives considerable public attention, the research proposed here reaches far beyond narrow academic concerns. If Eurosceptic parties succeed in constraining the integration process this has significant political, economic, and social consequences. The multidisciplinary aspect is taken into consideration through the fact that Euroscepticism has been approached from various scholarly traditions, which informs this research and is the center of two conferences/workshops organized in the context of this project. This applies especially to philosophy, sociology, communication sciences, economics, and law.


*Project Muslim Youth Movements in Europe

The research project „Muslim Youth Movements in Europe: Mobilization and Identity Construction“, which is scheduled from October 2014 to September 2017, aims to explore multi-ethnic, Muslim youth movements in Austria and Germany. The objective of the research is to examine conditions, manifestations and mechanisms of mobilization, the construction of collective identities and youth cultures, and politics of the respective youth movements. It is aimed to study a wide range of youth movements, representing different orientations of Islam, in the two mentioned countries.