Merve Schmitz-Vardar, Visiting Fellow
AICGS is pleased to welcome Merve Schmitz-Vardar as a Visiting Fellow at AICGS from August to October 2019.
Ms. Schmitz-Vardar is a research and teaching assistant at the Chair of Public Policy and Regional Policy of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is a representative of the non-professorial teaching staff at the Institute of Political Science and at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In addition, she is one of the spokeswomen from the junior scientist network of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM).
During her time at AICGS, Merve Schmitz-Vardar will be working on the topic of the sense of belonging from a comparative perspective. The rules of citizenship and naturalization in countries have an impact on the question “who belongs?”. Why can statehood be a challenge for democratic citizenship? Many studies show that democracy needs nation-states and national identity in a modern world (Eger und Valdez 2015; Helbing 2009; Manent 2013). Critical perspectives on nation-states remark that in the contemporary situation frameworks of transnational democracy or supranational democracy do not work (Fukuyama 2018). Based on these considerations, the following research question is examined: How do including and excluding ideas of identity, trust, and belonging affect democratic value orientations of German and American citizens? The main hypothesis assumes that exclusionary ideas of community – regarding identity, trust, and belonging – and resentments toward migrants promote the rejection of democratic values and thus endanger political support for democracy of the people. The data analysis is based on survey data and the theoretical foundations of social identity theory, social threat theory, and group-based enmity.