Chapter 1: Migration, welfare and education in times of crisis
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Welfare chauvinism or the opposition towards social policies for migrants increasingly polarises society. The introductory chapter of Welfare Chauvinism in Europe provides the reader with important background information and explains the two main aims of this book. First, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of welfare chauvinism in Europe. By constructing an extensive overview of welfare chauvinism’s causes and consequences, the book sheds light on the multidimensionality of welfare chauvinist attitudes across countries, time, social policies, and different migrant groups. Second, the book explores how welfare chauvinism is shaped by different factors, with a focus on education, economy and culture. Eick unveils hidden nuances regarding welfare chauvinism that are frequently overlooked in current discourse, particularly concerning socioeconomic cleavages in Europe. Using high-quality data on public attitudes and macro-level conditions, the book investigates the common misperception that higher levels of education universally lead to more tolerant attitudes and argues that governments and welfare institutions play a crucial role in shaping public opinion. Finally, the book discusses potential solutions for how to reconcile the tensions between welfare states and migration. These could involve high-quality social services and the social dimension of the European Union.