DISINTEGRATION is organized in four work packages, which study the mass politics of disintegration at three levels of analysis: the individual level (WP 1), the domestic level (WP 2), and the international level (WP 3). A final work package (WP 4) builds on the project’s empirical findings and works towards developing a theory on the mass politics of disintegration.

Work package 1 on “Public Opinion” studies when and how a country’s mass-based disintegration experience encourages or deters demands for disintegration in other countries. It tracks Brexit-related contagion risks, explores contagion mechanisms, and traces how disintegration-related opinions of the same respondent change over time during a disintegration referendum campaign.

Work package 2 on “Domestic Discourse” analyses how the contagion effects of mass-based disintegration are transmitted through domestic elites and domestic discourse. To this end, DISINTEGRATION employs new advances in semi-automated text analysis (structural topic models) and an analysis of politicians’ discourse on Twitter.

Turning to the international level, work package 3 on “Disintegration Negotiations” examines how the remaining member states respond to one member state’s mass-based disintegration bid by analyzing national negotiating positions and engaging in a comparative study of different mass-based disintegration cases.

Finally, work package 4 “Theorizing the Mass Politics of Disintegration” works towards building a theory of mass-based disintegration. It brings together the insights generated in work packages 1-3 with research on the politics of disintegration in the withdrawing member state.