Popular deservingness of the unemployed in the context of welfare state policies, economic conditions and cultural climate
Policy Feedback, Participation, Voting, and Attitudes
Wim van Oorschot and Bart Meuleman
Heejung Chung and Wim van Oorschot
Femke Roosma and Wim van Oorschot
European citizens are generally strong supporters of a generous welfare state. However, European countries differ quite strongly in type and quality of their welfare states, as well as in the degree to which they are under socio-economic pressure. The question we address in this chapter is how unified Europe actually is when it comes to welfare attitudes and opinions of its populations. For the regions of Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Europe we explore welfare attitudes in a multidimensional perspective and we try to explain regional dividing lines by analysing country-level covariates as social spending, poverty risk, wealth and unemployment levels, all controlled for composition effects. Findings show that socio-economic and institutional differences both influence individual welfare attitudes across regions. Where Northern and Western welfare states, with larger groups of citizens that are overall positive toward the welfare state, might overburden their citizens with high spending levels, Eastern and Southern welfare states, with larger groups of citizens that are performance critical toward the welfare state, might need to spend more to fulfil the public demand for a stronger role of the government.