Solidary Attitudes and Actions in the Covid 19 crisis as a trade-off to Freedom and Economic well-being (SAFE-19)

Team: Anna Hebel, Dr. Steffen Pötzschke, Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov
Leader: Prof. Dr. Alexia Katsanidou, Prof. Dr. Stefan Dietze
Scientific unit: Datenarchiv für Sozialwissenschaften (DAS); Wissenstechnologien für Sozialwissenschaften (WTS)


The governments’ mitigation measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented in our post-war history. For overcoming this crisis, citizens are expected to act in solidarity in order to control the spread of the virus and keep public health systems functional. At the same time, they are called to cope with confinement, limitations of their freedom (movement, religion etc.) and economic activity. SAFE-19 provides a social sciences perspective on the concept of solidarity which has become a central claim for the fight against COVID-19.

What are the sources and the scope of solidarity when society as a whole is faced with nearly impossible trade-offs? and What are the conditions that enable a political community to act in solidarity and support solidary measures within the nation state and within the EU? Using different trade-offs, the project examines how societal solidarity is addressed, reflected and socially perceived in the different phases of the crisis. The closure of large parts of the retail trade and gastronomy, perceived as a "lock-down", play just as important a role as compliance with the obligation to wear a mask and different attitudes towards vacation trips and their possible follow-up costs.

With regard to the various dimensions of investigation, the project employs a mixed-methods design that includes discourse analysis of speeches, the implementation of a longitudinal online survey, and the use of new data types (Twitter).

Additional information on the project and updates regarding its findings can be found on the project’s website:


01.07.2020 – 31.12.2021

Sponsored by

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung


Prof. Dr. Marianne Kneuer, Stiftung Universität Hildesheim


Dimitrov, D., Baran, E., Fafalios, P., Yu, R., Zhu, X., Zloch, M., and Dietze, S. (2020): TweetsCOV19 – A Knowledge Base of Semantically Annotated Tweets about the COVID-19 Pandemic, 29th ACM International Conference on Information & Knowledge Management (CIKM2020), ACM 2020

Reinl, A.-K., Pötzschke, S., and Katsanidou, A. (2021): Was EU-wide vaccine procurement the strategy Germans wanted? LSE COVID-19 Blog (09 Feb 2021).

Roy, A., Fafalios, P., Ekbal, A., Zhu, X., and Dietze, S. (2021): Exploiting stance hierarchies for cost-sensitive stance detection of Web documents, accepted for publication in Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, Springer