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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.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £95.00 Web: £85.50
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 78100 126 4
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Welfare States
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.

This multi-disciplinary study will appeal to academics, researchers, graduate and postgraduate students in sociology, social policy, social administration and European studies.
‘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
Contributors: M. Ainsaar, S.N. Andersen, H. Chung, H. Ervasti, H. Finseraas, T. Fridberg, J. Goul Andersen, M. Hjerm, T. Kankainen, A. Kouvo, B. Meuleman, M. Niemelä, K. Ringdal, A. Schnabel, W. van Oorschot
Contents:

Preface

1. Introduction
Heikki Ervasti, Jørgen Goul Andersen and Kristen Ringdal

2. Welfare Regimes and Personal Risks
Synøve Nygaard Andersen and Kristen Ringdal

3. The Impact of Perceived and Actual Unemployment Benefit Generosity and Unemployment Rates on the Employment Security of Workers
Heejung Chung and Wim van Oorschot

4. Economic Globalization, Personal Risks and the Demand for a Comprehensive Welfare State
Henning Finseraas and Kristen Ringdal

5. Children in the Family and Welfare State Attitudes: Altruism or Self-Interest?
Mare Ainsaar

6. Who Should Care for the Children? Support for Government Intervention in Childcare
Bart Meuleman and Heejung Chung

7. Legitimacy of the System and Support for the Welfare State
Torben Fridberg

8. Immigration, Trust and Support for the Welfare State
Heikki Ervasti and Mikael Hjerm

9. Social Cohesion and the Welfare State: How Heterogeneity Influences Welfare State Attitudes
Mikael Hjerm and Annette Schnabel

10. Welfare Benefits and Generalized Trust in Finland and Europe
Antti Kouvo, Tomi Kankainen and Mikko Niemelä

11. Is There a Religious Factor Involved in Support for the Welfare State in Europe?
Heikki Ervasti

12. Who Hates the Welfare State? Criticism of the Welfare State in Europe
Heikki Ervasti

Appendix
Kristen Ringdal and Mikael Hjerm

Index