Questioning a complex continent
The European Social Survey (ESS), based at City University London, has long been recognised as a critical tool for charting and explaining the interaction between Europe’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. At the end of 2013, the European Commission acknowledged its importance by granting it the status of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).
Established in 2001, the ESS was led by its founder, Professor Sir Roger Jowell, until his death in 2011. Now under the directorship of Rory Fitzgerald, the Survey takes place every two years and is currently in its sixth round. It asks questions of Europeans from over 30 countries concerning their political orientations, attitudes and behaviour; their social and moral values; and their national, ethnic and religious allegiances.
The Survey is renowned for its rigorous methodologies and while the data it generates are of critical value to academics and policymakers, its commitment to promoting excellence in quantitative research is of equal importance.
The ESS is the only ERIC hosted in the UK and it joins some of the most innovative research infrastructures in Europe, including CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory. With this prestige comes long-term funding stability and the corresponding freedom to plan for future exploration of the changing faces of Europe.