CANS was a multi-national study of public attitudes at the regional scale. It explored how far citizen understandings and practices of political participation and social solidarity were regionalised, rather than nationalised at the scale of the nation-state. Through mass survey research it explored and compared regional public attitudes in 14 regions in five European states (Austria, France, Germany, Spain, UK), including Scotland and Wales in the UK.
The project gather data that allowed analysis differences in ‘regional citizenship’. Through regional, national and cross-national analysis we determined the extent to which:
- citizenship is territorially scaled at the regional level
- the scale of citizenship can be explained by independent variables such as regional identity, institutional authority and economic wealth
- subjective evaluations of the regional level are more important than evaluations of the national level in the formation of generalized political attitudes such as trust and efficacy
Led by Charlie Jeffery and Ailsa Henderson from the Institute of Governance at the University of Edinburgh, the project team combined expertise in survey research and territorial politics. Its members were:
- Austria: Franz Fallend (Paris Universität Salzburg), Peter Ulram, Eva Zugmeister (GfK Austria)
- France: Roman Pasquier (CNRS and Université de Rennes)
- Germany: Dieter Roth (Universität Heidelberg), Roland Sturm, Julia Oberhofer (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
- UK: Ailsa Henderson and Charlie Jeffery (University of Edinburgh), Dan Wincott and Richard Wyn Jones (Cardiff University)
- Spain: Enrich Martinez Herrera (Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, Madrid), Francesc Pallares (Universita Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
Awarded by the European Science Foundation, the project received funding from national research councils in the five countries studied, plus the Welsh Assembly Government and the Commission on Scottish Devolution in the UK, the regional governments of Bretagne and Alsace in France, and the Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió of the Catalan Government. The project was been developed through meetings in Brussels (July 2008) and Edinburgh (October 2008)
Fieldwork was carried out in January-February 2009, with a common questionnaire fielded in all the case study regions.