The Future of the Welfare State

Social Policy Attitudes and Social Capital in Europe

Edited by Heikki Ervasti, Professor of Social Policy, University of Turku, Finland, Jørgen Goul Andersen, Professor of Political Sociology, Aalborg University, Denmark, Torben Fridberg, Senior Researcher, SFI – The Danish National Centre for Social Research, Denmark and Kristen Ringdal, Professor of Sociology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

At a time when welfare states in Europe are coming under increasing pressure from both growing demand and, in some countries, severe financial austerity measures, the attitudes of ordinary people and European social cohesion are much debated. Using data from the European Social Survey, these empirical analyses examine welfare state attitudes and draw conclusions for the future.

Theoretically the book is linked to analyses of altering social risks, policy challenges, policy changes and policy performance of the European welfare states. The analyses in the book explore a variety of individual and macro-level determinants of welfare policy attitudes ranging from socio-economic factors to religiosity, but a special emphasis is laid on solidarity, social cohesion and social capital among European nations.

‘Ervasti, Anderson, Fridberg, and Ringdal, with the help of 11 other authors, have created an edited collection that rightfully deserves a prominent position in the vast body of scholarship focused on the European social welfare state. The editors more than accomplish their stated goal of compiling a book focused on the changing “attitudes to the welfare state of ordinary people in almost thirty European countries”. The book and its 12 chapters are well conceptualized, well structured, and well written.’
– Larry Nackerud, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

‘A compelling collection of chapters that address many of the major challenges faced by contemporary European welfare states, including popular welfare legitimacy, social trust and social cohesion, “old” and “new” risks, population diversity and new gender roles. Combining various theoretical perspectives on the welfare state and public opinion, the book features state-of-the-art multilevel analyses of social policy attitudes across 30 European countries. This book will become an essential resource for welfare state researchers and students alike.’
– Christian Staerklé, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

‘This volume represents an important addition to existing research on welfare attitudes. A particular highlight is the extensive and original application of new cross-national survey data from the European Social Survey. The volume provides new substantial insights into the macro and micro level factors that shape welfare attitudes. I highly recommend this volume to anyone interested in welfare attitudes research.’
– Mads Meier Jæger, Aarhus University, Denmark

2012 288 pp Hardback 978 1 78100 126 4 £100.00 £90.00 $145.00 $130.50

Elgaronline 978 1 78100 127 1

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