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New Research Project at LIfBi: What are the Effects of the Corona Pandemic on Political Attitudes and Participation?

Has the Corona pandemic permanently changed political attitudes in Germany? Which social groups have been particularly affected? And has their participation in society also changed? On February 1, 2023, the BMBF-funded project "Political Attitudes and Political Participation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic" (PEPP-Cov) started at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi). For the first time, PEPP-Cov investigates these questions using repeated surveys based on data from the National Educational Panel Study.

The Corona pandemic had a lasting impact on many people's lives. However, the extent to which political attitudes as well as social and political participation have also changed in the long term could not be reliably answered until now because hardly any suitable data based on repeat surveys were available. The research project "PEPP-Cov" at LIfBi closes this gap and investigates under the direction of Prof. Dr. Gundula Zoch (University of Oldenburg/LIfBi) in which social groups political attitudes and social participation have changed particularly strongly in the course of the pandemic. Of particular interest here are socially unevenly distributed burdens resulting from the infection control measures and changes in the occupational context (short-time work, job loss, closure of the company, conditions in home office) or in family life.

In a first phase, the mentioned questions will be investigated with longitudinal data from several sub-studies of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) using different methods of causal and longitudinal analysis. In a second step, these quantitative NEPS evaluations will be complemented with qualitative focus group interviews in different regions of Germany. The latter will be conducted in cooperation with Dr. Johannes Kieß, co-applicant of the project and deputy director of the Else-Frenkel-Brunswik-Institute for Democracy Research (EFBI) at the University of Leipzig.

PEPP-Cov runs until October 2025 and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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