The welfare state under strain: A comparative study of diversity, austerity and public opinion
01 / 2013 - 01 / 2016
Our objective is to improve understanding of the changing determinants of public opinion towards welfare state institutions and policies in European societies in response to the pressures of diversity and economic austerity. We aim to answer four key questions: (i) What is the impact of diversity on welfare attitudes, and how are these influenced by national context? (ii) What is the impact of austerity on welfare attitudes, and how do these effects interact with the effects of diversity? How are these effects mediated by national context? (iii) How do public attitudes to welfare change over time, and what role do political messages and messengers play in driving this change? How are these changes and effects mediated by national context? (iv) To what extent are the effects of diversity and austerity, and their interaction, moderated by voters? political ideologies, values and partisan attachments? What role does national context play in influencing these complex patterns of interaction?