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Welfare States and Public Opinion

Perceptions of Healthcare Systems, Family Policy and Benefits for the Unemployed and Poor in Europe Claus Wendt, Professor of Sociology of Health and Healthcare Systems, University of Siegen and External Fellow, Mannheim Center for European Social Research, Germany, Monika Mischke, Lecturer and Researcher, University of Siegen and PhD Candidate, University of Mannheim, Germany and Michaela Pfeifer, European Parliament, Belgium
Welfare States and Public Opinion comprises an informed inquiry into three fields of social policy – health policy, family policy, and unemployment benefits and social assistance. Though the analyses stem from research spanning fifteen countries across Europe, the conclusions can be applied to social policy problems in nations worldwide.

Combining a detailed analysis of the institutional structure of social policy with the study of public attitudes toward healthcare, family policy, and benefits for the unemployed and poor, this book represents a new stream in public opinion research. The authors demonstrate that the institutional designs of social policies have a great impact on inequalities among social groups, and provide best practices for gaining public support for social policy reform.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $116.00 Web: $104.40
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84844 806 3
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  • Development Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Economics and Finance
  • Health Policy and Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Health Policy and Economics
  • Welfare States
Welfare States and Public Opinion comprises an informed inquiry into three fields of social policy – health policy, family policy, and unemployment benefits and social assistance. Though the analyses stem from research spanning fifteen countries across Europe, the conclusions can be applied to social policy problems in nations worldwide.

Combining a detailed analysis of the institutional structure of social policy with the study of public attitudes toward healthcare, family policy, and benefits for the unemployed and poor, this book represents a new stream in public opinion research. The authors demonstrate that the institutional designs of social policies have a great impact on inequalities among social groups, and provide best practices for gaining public support for social policy reform.

The wealth of information found in this comprehensive study will be of interest not only to scholars and students of sociology, political science, social policy, public policy and law, but to health and social policymakers the world over.
‘. . . the book is well researched and is a solid overview of the first decade of the 21st century, with a sound theoretical underpinning rooted in Max Weber’s typological method. Wendt, Mischke, and Pfeifer have provided excellent analyses of their data sets to create a well-documented, scholarly study.’
– Cynthia R. Jasper and Emily Lupton Metrish, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

‘. . . offers a fresh perspective. . . as well as interesting empirical findings that advance the research field. . . The cluster analyses of the institutional programme characteristics are by themselves interesting, given the rather wide scope of empirical indicators used. However, the volume’s approach becomes especially valuable when applied to the question of, for example, public preferences for more/less spending and satisfaction with existing programmes.’
– Carsten Jensen, Social Policy and Administration
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Perceptions of Welfare State Institutions: Theories and Concepts 3. Healthcare – Our Greatest Good? 4. Family Policy – One for All? 5. Public Support for Unemployment Benefits and Social Assistance Schemes – Money for Nothing or Help in Dire Straits? 6. Conclusion: Comparing Public Attitudes in Three Fields of Social Policy Bibliography Index