Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness
Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens
Chapter 8: How Welfare Reforms Influence Public Opinion Regarding Welfare Deservingness: Evidence from Dutch Time-Series Data, 1975–2006
One of the gaps in the empirical study of the general opinion regarding welfare concerns a lack of research with a dynamic perspective. Such a perspective is needed, because welfare opinions generally – and deservingness opinions among them – can be assumed to react to socioeconomic, political and institutional changes in society (Blekesaune, 2007; Erikson, MacKuen and Stimson, 2002). An important question in this regard is how the ‘politics of austerity’, which were implemented in many European countries when faced with large budgetary problems resulting from the oil crises in the 1970s, affected solidarity relationships and opinions (Pierson, 2001). Did the welfare reforms undermine people’s solidarity with one another, did they strengthen it, or were they of no consequence for it?
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