European welfare states are now at a cross-road. Major challenges from escalating costs, unprecedented levels of immigration and increasing inequality confront the existing systems of provision in the context of austerity budgeting, ever more stringent international competition and the rise of populist politics. New approaches stress personal rather than state responsibility for outcomes and call into question traditional ideas about gender roles, care and redistribution. People’s current aspirations, ideas and assumptions will be important drivers of change and persistence and of the extent to which conflict and solidarity surround the new directions in welfare.
The projects in the Welfare State Attitudes Cluster address the following questions: How widespread is support for redistribution and what determines attitudes to welfare among different groups? How does program design shape welfare attitudes and the renewal of popular support for the European Social Model? How does increased ethnic diversity affect citizen’s willingness to support the welfare state and their demand for welfare services and what differences exist between ethnic groups? How do ideas about how fairness and preferences regarding personal responsibility affect support for and the effectiveness of welfare policies? What kind of welfare state do people want to see in the future, and what do they expect?