Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness
Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens
Chapter 9: Making Deservingness of the Unemployed Conditional: Changes in Public Support for the Conditionality of Unemployment Benefits
Stricter conditions for the unemployed to receive benefits have been on the political agenda for more than two decades ever since the ‘activation turn’. Although the welfare state has persisted due to its high popularity (Brooks and Manza, 2007), there have been inroads in public opinion on making benefits more conditional, in particular for the long-term unemployed. Indeed, previous research suggests that the population generally supports conditions attached to social benefits (Houtman, 1997; Larsen, 2008): social rights are granted to the needy not without obligations (Marshall, 1950). Attributions of (un)deservingness are of particular relevance in individual attitudes towards social policy.
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