Presentation on theme: "Public support for the welfare state: does it depend on the group and on the welfare arrangement? Judith Raven Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam; AISSR."— Presentation transcript:
Public support for the welfare state: does it depend on the group and on the welfare arrangement? Judith Raven Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam; AISSR
3 steps Explanations at the micro level The macro-micro link Causality: does social policy influence public opinion or vv?
Data Tisser solidarity study (1995) andLabour, Organisation and Social Security (2006) Longitudinal data to examine trends – Cultural changes in the Netherlands (executed by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP)) –OECD Social Expenditure data (SOCX)
Explaining support at the micro level Does support depend on the arrangement? Does support depend on the group?
Does support depend on the arrangement? The Dutch public distinguishes two types of welfare state reforms: –Retrenchment –Re-commodification Re-commodifying reforms receive higher support than retrenchment (compare Achterberg, van der Veen and Raven 2010; Achterberg et al. 2009)
Does support depend on the group? Those supporting re-commodification prefer to cut benefits for undeserving, deviant recipients, but not for recipients they identify themselves with Those supporting retrenchment do not prefer to cut benefits for undeserving recipients who do not really need help to a higher than for deserving recipients who need help
Macro-micro link Explanatory focus should be on the system as a unit, not on the individuals or other components that make it up (Coleman 1990: 2; compare also Hedström and Swedberg 1996; Albrekt Larsen 2006; Korpi and Palme 1998; Svallfors 2007) Macro-micro link often missing in welfare state legitimacy research
Link: moral economy Moral economy (Thompson 1971; Scott 1976; Mau 2003; Svallfors 2007) norms defining the fairness of social contracts between the governed and the authorities (social security institutions are such social contracts) Notions of moral economy refer to moral codes (rights and obligations) prevailing in a society Social security legitimacy high if congruence between norms incorporated in social security institutions and public preferences
Analysing Dutch moral economy Soc. ass. scheme Unempl. scheme Old-age pensions Disability scheme 1995 – 20061995 - 2006 Control +++0+ Trust +0+++ Obligating reciprocity +++0 Balanced reciprocity 0+0+ -- = strong decrease - = decrease 0 = no change, + = increase, ++ = strong increase Developments within normative structures of social security schemes between 1995 en 2006
Results moral economy Remarkable congruence between norms embedded in schemes and the publics preferences Conclusion: legitimacy of Dutch social security is high because governing powers comply to the moral codes prevailing in Dutch society
Direction of causality? One remaining question: –In what circumstances does social policy influence public opinion (cf. Douglas 1987; Mettler and Soss 2004; Albrekt Larsen 2006; Arts and Gelissen 2001; Svallfors 1997) and in what circumstances does public opinion influence social policy (cf. Brooks and Manza 2006; Korpi and Palme 1998; Page and Shapiro 1983; Jones 1994; Stimson et al. 1995) ?
Relationship policy and opinion In the case of highly established and institutionalised policy areas, such as unemployment schemes and old age pensions, public opinion will follow existing social policy designs In the case of policy areas where the social policy design has not yet been fully established, such as labour market activation, social policy designs will follow public opinion
Conclusions Support for the welfare state is not mainly based on individuals self-interest: deservingness perceptions and moral economy determine support as well Support depends on the level of identification with recipients However, support is also partly determined by existing welfare institutions
Why quantitative analyses? Testing hypotheses, because we already have many advanced theory on welfare state legitimacy Trends in public support Representative samples generalizable results
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