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How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public

Policy Feedback, Participation, Voting, and Attitudes Edited by Staffan Kumlin, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen, Assistant Professor for Comparative Politics, University of Berne, Switzerland
Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen bring together political scientists and sociologists from different and frequently separated research communities to examine policy feedback in European welfare states. In doing so, they offer a rich menu of different methodological approaches. The book demonstrates how long-term policy legacies and short-term policy change affect the public, but also shows that such processes are contingent on individual characteristics and political context.
Extent: 352 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78254 548 4
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Welfare States
In democracies, the attitudes and behaviour of citizens should influence future public policies. Yet in some instances the reverse of this is true, and public attitudes and behaviour are in fact the result of past policies.

Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen bring together political scientists and sociologists from different and frequently separated research communities to examine policy feedback in European welfare states. In doing so, they offer a rich menu of methodological approaches. The book demonstrates how long-term policy legacies and short-term policy changes affect the public, but also shows that such processes are contingent on individual characteristics and political context.

This comprehensive study will appeal to academics interested in political behaviour and attitudes, or in welfare state policy and its consequences for national societies and economies. It will also be of value to policy intellectuals and activists involved in the politics of the welfare state.
‘Welfare states do indeed shape the democratic public, but they do it in highly contingent and contextually dependent ways. This is the main message from this meticulously researched and lucidly presented volume. By showing how and under what conditions policy feedback takes place it makes a major contribution to the welfare state literature. A must-read for any scholar in the field.’
– Stefan Svallfors, Umeå University, Sweden

‘Every chapter of this book is full of rigorous research and interesting results, and its contents should be carefully absorbed by any policy-maker contemplating a transition from means-tested to universal benefits.’
– Citizens Income

‘This crucial volume significantly advances the study of policy feedbacks. With contributions from many subfields and methodological approaches, it offers both sophisticated theorizing and new empirical examples that show how policies make politics in a variety of ways. Innovative research designs provide more convincing inference than ever. And the normative questions engaged about welfare performance, evaluation, participation, and accountability could not be more important or timely in this era of austerity and discord over the future of welfare states.’
– Andrea Louise Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
Contributors: E. Anduiza, C. Arndt, M. Busemeyer, C. Dupuy, J. Gingrich, A. Goerres, T.F. Hedegaard, V. van Ingelgom, S. Kumlin, C.A. Larsen, A. Lindbom, P. Marx, B. Meuleman, J. Muñoz, E. Naumann, W. van Oorschot, G. Picot, G. Rico, J. Shore, I. Stadelmann-Steffen
Contents:

PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. Citizens, Policy Feedback, and European Welfare States
Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen

PART II: PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT
2. Empowering Cuts? Austerity Policies and Political Involvement in Spain
Jordi Muñoz, Eva Anduiza and Guillem Rico

3. How Welfare States Shape Participatory Patterns
Jennifer Shore

4. Varieties of Capitalism, Education and Inequalities in Political Participation
Marius Busemeyer and Achim Goerres

PART III: VOTING BEHAVIOUR AND ELECTIONS
5. Structuring the Vote: Welfare Institutions and Value Based Vote Choices
Jane Gingrich

6. Labour Market Policies and Party Preferences of Fixed-term Workers
Paul Marx and Georg Picot

7. The Electoral Consequences of Reforming a Bismarckian Welfare State
Christoph Arndt

8. Waking up the Giant? Hospital Closures and Electoral Punishment in Sweden
Anders Lindbom

PART IV: ATTITUDES AND EVALUATIONS
9. Policy Feedback in Political Context: Unemployment Benefits, Elections Campaigns, and Democratic Satisfaction
Staffan Kumlin

10. Social Policy, Legitimation and Diverging Regional Paths in Belgium
Claire Dupuy and Virginie van Ingelgom

11. Raising the Retirement Age: Retrenchment, Feedback and Attitudes
Elias Naumann

12. Popular Deservingness of the Unemployed in the Context of Welfare State Policies, Economic Conditions and Cultural Climate
Wim van Oorschot and Bart Meuleman

13. How Proximate and Visible Policies Shape Self-interest, Satisfaction and Spending Support: The Case of Public Service Production
Troels Fage Hedegaard and Christian Albrekt Larsen

14. Informed Performance Evaluation of the Welfare State? Experimental and Real-world Findings
Staffan Kumlin

PART V: CONCLUSIONS
15. How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public: Borrowing Strength across Research Communities
Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen