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Hans-Jörg Trenz

Professore Ordinario



Hans-Jörg Trenz is Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa/Florence/Italy. He studied sociology and Romance Languages at the Universität des Saarlandes, Università di Bari and Universidad Central de Barcelona. He obtained his PhD in Social and Political Sciences in 1998 at the European University Institute with a thesis on ‘Mobilising Collective Identities: Public Discourse on Immigration in Germany and Portugal’ and his professor habilitation in 2005 at Humboldt University, Berlin. He held previous positions at Münchner Projektgruppe Sozialforschung (1997-98), Humboldt University, Berlin (1998-2005), ARENA – Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (2005-2021) and University of Copenhagen (2011-2021). His main field of interests are media and public sphere transformations, digital transformations of society, political communication and democracy as well as a cultural and political sociology of European integration with a focus on the emergence of a European media and the public sphere, European civil society, European civilisation and identity, migration and ethnic minorities.

5 most recent publications

  • ‘Solidarity in the Media and Public Contention over Refugees in Europe. London: Routledge, 2021 (with Manlio Cinalli, Verena Brändle, Olga Eisele and Christian Lahusen).
  • New opportunities for European solidarity mobilization: the role of the media. In Krunke, Helle, Manners, Ian and Petersen, Hanne (eds): Transnational solidarity – concept, challenges and opportunities. Cambridge: CUP, 350-373, 2020.
  • Participatory Populism: Online Discussion Forums on Mainstream News Sites During the 2014 European Parliament Election. In Journalism Practice, 1-18 ( (with C. Galpin), 2019
  • ‘Narrating European Society. Toward a Sociology of European Integration. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2016
  • Europe's Prolonged Crisis. The Making or the Unmaking of a Political Union. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2015, (edited together with Virginie Guiraudon and Carlo Ruzza).

Previous research project

  • 2021-2022: Locksphere: Lockdown of the Public Sphere? Value Contestation and Digital Mobilization during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Research grant funded by the Volkswagen Foundation)
  • 2020-2024: ValCon: Value Conflicts in a Differentiated Europe: The Impact of Digital Media on Value Polarisation in Europe (Research grant funded by the Volkswagen Foundation).
  • 2020-2024: EnTrust: Enlightened trust: An examination of trust and distrust in governance – conditions, effects and remedies (Horizon 2020 Research Grant).
  • 2015-2018: TransSol: European paths to transnational solidarity at times of crisis: Conditions, forms, role-models and policy responses (Horizon 2020 Research Grant).
  • 2019-2022: EU3D: EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy (Horizon 2020 Research Grant).
  • 2019-2022: Partner of the Erasmus+ co-funded Jean Monnet Network: Post-Truth Politics, Nationalism and the (De)Legitimation of European Integration (Coordinator: University of Iceland.

PhD supervision

  • Media and politcal communication
  • Journalism
  • Media systems and media regulation
  • Public Sphere and Democratic Theory
  • Digital Transformation of Society