Old and new boundaries: National Identities and Religion

Team: Kathrin Behrens (Universität Düsseldorf), Antonia May, Katharina Werhan
Leader: Prof. Dr. Annette Schnabel (University of Düsseldorf), Dr. Markus Quandt, Dr. Insa Bechert; technical manager: Dr. Brigitte Mathiak and software development Matthäus Zloch
Scientific unit: Data Archive for the Social Sciences (DAS)


The project focuses on better understanding how national and religious identities are intertwined in the modern world. For this, a vast array of existing individual level and contextual data will be merged and enriched. The result will be a publicly available multi-level database.

In times of increasing institutional convergence at the supra-national level, and growing diversities in e.g. wealth and life chances at the individual level, national and religious identities seem to re-gain salience as markers between "us" and "them". Potential consequences are changes in the patterns of social cohesion and societal solidarity. The project contributes to existing research in this area with regard to two core questions: The first concerns the relationship between religious and national identities at the individual level. How strongly do these two important cognitive frames for the social world overlap, or conversely, create cross-pressures? How consistent are the patterns of overlap or independence across countries, and how stable over time? The second question extends the first one, in that it asks about the effect of institutional characteristics and historical events at the country level on the particular relationship between religious and national identities.


01.07.2017 – 31.12.2020

Sponsored by