Anna Durnova coordinates the CIDAPE EU project

The new Horizon Europe project "CIDAPE - Climate Inequality and Democratic Action: The Power of Political Emotions" will start in January 2024.

Researchers involved in the new CIDAPE project approved by Horizon Europe investigate how emotions influence political choices. Eleven partners from nine European countries participate in this international research project coordinated by the University of Vienna.

“I am very pleased that CIDAPE will allow us to go beyond the usual research objectives and build an international initiative aimed at harnessing our research on emotions for the benefit of democracy and climate protection,” says Anna Durnova, coordinator of the international consortium and Professor of Political Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Till Hilmar (Department of Sociology) and Fabienne Lind (Department of Communication) from the University of Vienna are working on the project as well. The project will be launched in January 2024. The University of Vienna is granted around 750.000 euros of the total project volume of around 3 million euros.

Understanding how emotions influence the political discourse

“In a time characterised by polarisation, it is important to understand how political emotions, especially our perception of inequality, affect the political discourse, both online and offline,” says Durnova. The project CIDAPE – Climate Inequality and Democratic Action: The Force of Political Emotions will examine this issue over a project period of four years based on political documents, social media contributions, and social movements.

“We aim to equip policymakers with the necessary tools to consider these emotions in policymaking related to climate and when communicating their decisions to the public,” explains the sociologist.

Expanding the reach of citizen engagement

But CIDAPE does not stop there: It provides civil society stakeholders with a holistic view of climate and inequality issues and invites them to jointly develop new engagement formats that emphasise mutual respect. “In a time of political disenchantment and polarisation, this approach is essential for effective citizen engagement at EU level,” says Durnova.

New methods for investigating political emotions

This project, approved as part of the HORIZON-CL2-2023-DEMOCRACY programme, also does pioneering work in the development of methods for the effective observation and use of emotions. “By identifying emotional dynamics in texts, this project provides an emotion-sensitive skill set to bridge the gap between government action and the needs of citizens, fostering innovative policymaking in collaboration with citizens,” explains Durnova.

In the long term, this project aims to strengthen democracy by taking into account peoples’ views of climate change and how these views affect their perception of inequality.

Related links:

·       Website of Anna Durnova

Photo of a crowd in front of Heldenplatz in Vienna, a sign reads "Act now".