Welfare State Legitimacy in Times of Crisis and Austerity


Welfare State Legitimacy in Times of Crisis and Austerity

Between Continuity and Change

9781788976299 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Tijs Laenen, Postdoctoral Researcher, KU Leuven, Belgium and Tilburg University, the Netherlands, Bart Meuleman, Professor of Sociology and Wim van Oorschot, Professor of Social Policy, Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven, Belgium
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78897 629 9 Extent: 304 pp
Has there been change or continuity in the welfare attitudes of Europeans since the 2008 financial crisis? Using data from the European Social Survey, this book reveals how various types of welfare attitudes evolved between 2008, when the crisis triggered economic recessions and welfare reforms across Europe, and 2016, when most countries had largely recovered from that crisis.

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This book explores developments in the social legitimacy of present-day European welfare states since the banking crisis of 2008. It analyses how the welfare attitudes of Europeans have been influenced by economic recession and consequent welfare reforms, as well as reactions to ongoing debates around welfare.

Utilizing cross-national perspectives, the book analyses the differences and similarities in welfare attitudes of Europeans between 2008 and 2016. It highlights popular welfare attitudes towards different groups of society, including migrants, the elderly and the unemployed, exploring if and why specific practices and policies would meet popular resistance or approval.

Social policy and sociology scholars will find this book helpful, as the cross-national analysis provides new insights into the contextual drivers of welfare attitudes. It will also be useful to policymakers and practitioners working in Europe offering analysis of welfare preferences, evaluations and perceptions.
Critical Acclaim
‘The three editors unite the finest state-of-the-art research about public attitudes towards the welfare state in Europe. Drawing on the 2008 and 2016 waves of the high-quality European Social Survey, the contributors analyse how and why the diversity of relationships between citizens and the welfare state manifests itself in the individual mind in the first two decades of the 21st century.’
– Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Contributors: H. Chung, L. de Blok, S. Delespaul, B. Ebbinghaus, M.A. Eger, H. Ervasti, J. Gale, D. Gugushvili, A. Haugsgjerd, S. Kumlin, T. Laenen, C.A. Larsen, B. Meuleman, J. Mewes, E. Naumann, E. Politi, F. Roosma, C. Staerklé, W. van Oorschot


Foreword xiv

1. Welfare Attitudes in Times of Crisis and Austerity 3
Bart Meuleman, Wim van Oorschot and Tijs Laenen

2. Welfare Criticism in Times of Economic Crisis. Perceptions of
Moral, Economic and Social Consequences of the Welfare State,
2008–2016 25
Bart Meuleman and Sam Delespaul
3. The Perceived Abuse of Welfare Benefits in Times of Crisis:
Change or Stability in the Achilles’ Heel of Welfare State
Legitimacy? 46
Femke Roosma
4. The Ambivalence of Material Vulnerability as a Foundation for
Welfare Dependency Attitudes: Social Distrust or Dissatisfaction
with the System? 68
Christian Staerklé, Jessica Gale and Emanuele Politi
5. Changes in Russians’ Attitudes: What Accounts for Reduced
Preferences Regarding Public Welfare Provision? 91
Dimitri Gugushvili and Wim van Oorschot
6. Religiosity and Support for the Welfare State 111
Heikki Ervasti

7. How Popular Deservingness Perceptions Mediate the Link
between Unemployment Policies and Their Public Support 139
Tijs Laenen
8. The Legitimacy of Public Pensions in an Ageing Europe:
Changes in Subjective Evaluations and Policy Preferences,
2008–2016 159
Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Elias Naumann
9. Welfare Nationalism Before and After the ‘Migration Crisis’ 176
Maureen A. Eger, Christian Albrekt Larsen and Jan Mewes

10. Increasingly Connected? Political Distrust and Dissatisfaction
with Public Services in Europe, 2008–2016 199
Lisanne de Blok, Atle Haugsgjerd and Staffan Kumlin
11. Institutions versus Market Forces: Explaining the
Employment Insecurity of European Individuals Eight Years
after the 2008 Financial Crisis 220
Heejung Chung

12. Change or Continuity in Europeans’ Welfare Attitudes? 247
Tijs Laenen and Wim van Oorschot

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