New Publication by HEALTHDOX – The Populist Challenge to Social Investment Policies

In their new publication, Tarik Abou-Chadi and Ellen Immergut examine party competition over key groups of voters when it comes to social policies.  Left parties increasing appeal to socio-cultural professionals such that when electoral competition intensifies, left governments increase their efforts on child care and active labor market policies—policies that are commonly known as social investment. Right parties on the other hand, increasingly draw on working-class voters, and therefore right governments hesitate to retrench standard social consumption policies such as contributory pensions when electoral competition increases.  But some recalibration may be important in order to expand social investment. For both types of party governments, right wing challengers cause them to reduce their efforts to recalibrate social policies. Thus, the rise of right-wing populism is a challenge to social investment.

Recalibrating social protection: Electoral competition and the new partisan politics of the welfare state.

15 October 2018, European Journal of Political Research,