Table of Contents

How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public

How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public

Policy Feedback, Participation, Voting, and Attitudes

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen

Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen bring together political scientists and sociologists from different and frequently separated research communities to examine policy feedback in European welfare states. In doing so, they offer a rich menu of different methodological approaches. The book demonstrates how long-term policy legacies and short-term policy change affect the public, but also shows that such processes are contingent on individual characteristics and political context.

Chapter 5: Structuring the vote: welfare institutions and value-based vote choices

Jane Gingrich

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, welfare states


The core question motivating this volume is how the outputs of democratic politics ñ policies ñ become an input structuring future democratic politics. Voting is one of the most fundamental political acts that citizens engage in. Both the individual motives behind vote choices and the ways in which political contexts shape those choices have been widely studied (e.g. Dalton and Anderson 2011); nonetheless, there has been relatively less attention to the role of policy in structuring vote choices (see Henjack 2010, Pacek and Radcliff 1995 for exceptions). Policy, however, is the domain over which parties often battle, the most visible face of state activity, and often a crucial determinant of individual well-being. Other chapters in this volume examine the ways in which policies construct individual and group preferences and participation through their distributional structures. This chapter argues that policies play a further role; they structure the knowledge citizens gain from their experiences of the welfare state. Some policy structures make citizens more aware of the stakes of welfare policy ñ both for themselves and society ñ whereas others obscure its importance.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information