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PERCEIVE - Perception and Evaluation of Regional and Cohesion policies by Europeans and Identification with the Values of Europe

16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions; Research Projects; 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019

The PERCEIVE (Perception and Evaluation of Regional and Cohesion policies by Europeans and Identification
with the Values of Europe) project aims at both mapping and explaining inter- and intra-regional variations in: a) the
experiences and results of cohesion policy implementation, b) citizens’ awareness and appreciation of EU efforts for
delivering cohesion and c) European identities and citizens’ identification with the EU. In doing so, PERCEIVE will
develop a comprehensive theory of “cohesion in diversity”, and use this theory to create a better understanding of
the channels through which European policies contribute to create both different local understandings of the EU and
different levels of European identification across profoundly different European regions.
In addressing the aim of the project, PERCEIVE contrasts two different perspectives: a rational choice perspective
stressing mainly the idea of institutions as “rules of the game” and the calculative rationality of actors as determinants
of European identities and identification, and a social constructivist perspective stressing mainly the idea that
European identities and identification emerge from a process of “social learning” associated with different institutional
PERCEIVE relies on a multidisciplinary portfolio of competences bridging socio-political, regional-economic and
public-administrative backgrounds. It integrates the use of both qualitative and quantitative analytical methods such
as surveys, focus groups, case studies and econometric modelling. In addition, it uses particularly innovative methods
such as quantitative discourse analysis to elicit meaning structures in public discourse about the EU, its regional policy
and being European. Finally, PERCEIVE will produce a computer simulation environment and embed it into a virtual
platform that cohesion policy stakeholders will be able to use and produce what-if analysis and long-term scenario
analysis of the effects of policies.

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