Chapter 2: What is welfare chauvinism?
Restricted access

What is the tension between welfare states and migration, often referred to as the ‘progressive dilemma’? And why do parties, policies and publics exclude migrants from the welfare state? Chapter 2 offers an overview of the existing welfare chauvinism literature. First, the ‘progressive dilemma’ argues that social rights and redistribution are based on a closed collective of identities that trust each other to achieve common goals. Welfare states have thus created an ingroup which shares an understanding of belonging that is embedded in national (welfare) institutions. Therefore, the inclusion of migrants challenges the very nature of national welfare states, particularly because migrants are frequently perceived to be more reliant on welfare state support. Second, the chapter discusses welfare chauvinism in parties. Importantly, politicians not only from the radical right but also from mainstream parties are capitalising on the idea of ‘welfare for our kind’, or welfare chauvinism. Third, the chapter discusses welfare chauvinism in welfare policies. Welfare chauvinist policies have already cost millions of migrants the loss of their social rights, recently manifested in political earthquakes, such as Brexit. Finally, the chapter explains the importance of understanding welfare chauvinism in the public, which is further elaborated in Chapter 3.

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

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account