Social Policy Attitudes and Social Capital in Europe
Edited by Heikki Ervasti, Jørgen Goul Andersen, Torben Fridberg and Kristen Ringdal
Chapter 9: Social Cohesion and the Welfare State: How Heterogeneity Influences Welfare State Attitudes
9. Social cohesion and the welfare state: how heterogeneity influences welfare state attitudes Mikael Hjerm and Annette Schnabel INTRODUCTION How much heterogeneity can the modern welfare state endure? Despite recent right-wing populist rhetoric that claims heterogeneity1 threatens the maintenance of civil society’s principles, the impact of cultural and economic heterogeneity has been controversially discussed in social science for a long time and in different contexts, for example in the context of identity politics and redistributive justice (Frazer and Honneth, 2003), nationalism (Conversi, 2007) or the integration of immigrants into the receiving society (Sniderman and Hagendoorn, 2007). Heterogeneity is often seen as a threat to the existence of liberal Western democracies because it challenges the consensus on – and the legitimacy of – their basic institutions and redistributive instruments. However, empirical research on the impact of heterogeneity is inconclusive: while it could be shown that ethnic heterogeneity in the USA has resulted in a lack of support for welfare measures (Alesina and Glaeser, 2004), little support for this relationship has been found outside the USA (Taylor-Gooby, 2005; Myles and St-Arnaud, 2006). While Chapter 8 focuses on the relationship between the presence of immigrants (or those considered as such) in society and welfare state attitudes, this chapter focuses on how different conceptualizations of ourselves affect welfare state attitudes. In other words, Chapter 8 tries to disentangle the effects of objective heterogeneity, whereas this chapter places the focus on the effects of subjective cohesion. Our particular focus is on whether subjective dimensions of heterogeneity influence...
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.