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Tijs Laenen and Christian Albrekt Larsen

Chapter 9 seeks to explain the puzzle of why severe retrenchment of Dutch and Danish unemployment insurance systems faced relatively little public resistance. The lack of opposition is puzzling because Dutch and Danish unemployment schemes have traditionally had relatively large and well-organized welfare constituencies. The core argument of the chapter is that absence of public resistance is to some extent rooted in harsh deservingness beliefs regarding the unemployed within the constituencies of unemployment insurance. Using Dutch and Danish survey data, we demonstrate this mechanism by showing that large parts of the constituencies of unemployment insurance, operationalized as self-reported benefit receipt and unemployment experience, evaluate the unemployed negatively on the deservingness criteria of control, attitude, reciprocity, identity and need. Furthermore, these deservingness perceptions are strongly correlated with constituents’ generosity and conditionality towards the unemployed.

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Maureen A. Eger, Christian Albrekt Larsen and Jan Mewes

This chapter investigates whether the so-called ‘migration crisis’ of 2015 is associated with a change in welfare nationalist attitudes across 19 European countries. The chapter asks first whether the highly visible ‘migration crisis’ is associated with a shift in the levels of welfare nationalist attitudes among Europeans. In a technical sense, the ‘crisis’ is treated as a natural experiment that allows us to investigate how a salient event affects popular attitudes towards granting social rights to immigrants. Does welfare nationalism increase or decrease, or do attitudes become more polarized? The chapter then goes on to investigate whether certain contextual changes, such as the political salience of the immigration issue, the presence of inclusive immigrant integration policies, the proportion of foreign-born and asylum seekers in the population, and economic conditions help to explain within-country changes in support for the inclusion or exclusion of ‘newcomers’.