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Session Overview
RN26_03: Populism and welfare chauvinism
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Hannu Turba, University of Kassel
Location: GM.328
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Welfare Attitudes and Support for Different Types of Populist Parties

Steven Saxonberg1,2, Tomas Sirovatka1

1Masaryk University,Czech Republic; 2Comenius University, Slovakia

Much has been written lately about the rise of populist parties, but much less on the connection between welfare attitudes and support for such parties. In addition, the literature on welfare attitudes and populism has mostly focused on radical right-wing populist parties. However, recently more centrist types of "entrepreneurial populist parties" have arisen, such as ANO in the Czech Republic, while "left-wing" populist parties have come into power in such countries as Slovakia and Greece and have gained support in such countries as Spain. This article will use ESS survey data to examine the links between socio-economic variables, welfare attitudes and voting for various types of populist parties. We will apply multi-level multinomial regression.

The Welfare State and Welfare Chauvinism in Europe: Keeping Pace or Losing Ground?

Branko Boskovic

University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro

Populist movements are increasing their presence in European countries and even becoming regular partners in governments. Their political strength is fueled by globalisation and migrations, but also by other internal and external pressures, ageing population, unemployment, insecurity, to name just a few. The welfare state is being neoliberalised, retrenched and under pressure and there are rising fears that populists will only further contribute to its demise. The paper will address the issue of welfare chauvinism as the main ideological standpoint of populist parties. Existing studies look at perception of populists or at specific case studies but the question of their actual effect on the welfare state, especially of funding of social protection is not debated. Do populists contribute to decreases of the welfare state budget or not? Welfare chauvinism raises the question of who is entitled to welfare services and natives are counter-positioned to non-natives but the crucial question is whether the budget for social protection is decreasing. In other words, do populists just keep their discourse or the welfare funding is under threat? The paper will use Eurostat and OECD data to present welfare chauvinist effects on social protection budgets, presenting budgeting for specific policy areas. It will show which policy areas are closely related with welfare chauvinism and whether their funding is affected, also pointing to differences between welfare regimes on the European continent.

The Wrath of The Honest Working Man: Structural and Attitudinal Covariates of Welfare Chauvinism In A Country Without Immigrants

Adrian Hatos

University of Oradea, Romania

Welfare chauvinism has been a debated topic in social sciences in the aftermath of the great recession of 2008-2010 and the sudden raise in popularity of populist movements all across the world and especially in the European Union. While the correlation of welfare chauvinism with the conservative-populist thinking is well-acknowledged, the debates on the issue relating it to immigration - welfare nationalism - can be misleading. The attitudes that consider welfare provision illegitimate to undeserving categories can have a firm ground even in absence of immigration but with a background where social exclusion is correlated with ethnic heterogeneity as in the case of Romania. In my article I explore the extent and the structural and attitudinal covariates of welfare chauvinism in Romania in a large sample of adults (N=1712) surveyed online using as dependent variable a score built using a three-item scale to measure hostility towards unmerited welfare. While bivariate analyzes show strong correlations with indicators of subjects' structural position in the world (education, income, occupation, age, gender, type of residence) as well as with measures of core political values - including right-wing authoritarianism, trust and placement on the materialism-postmaterialism scale and interesting correlation with political partisanship I employ multivariate analyzes to discern the fallacious correlations and mediating effects. In the interpretation section the relationships of anti-Roma narrative with increasing right-wing populism and its’ outcomes including welfare chauvinism are discussed.

Welfare Stigma and the Public Gaze

Liv Johanne Syltevik1, Kjetil Grimastad Lundberg2

1University of Bergen, Norway; 2Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

The aim of this article is to discuss the social division and dynamics of welfare stigma. The Norwegian case is suitable to explore these issues in a context of low unemployment rates and a social democratic welfare regime. The role of receiver of welfare support is, however, under scrutiny in ways that resembles the discussion in other European countries. The discussion of how to keep welfare expenditure down is high on the public agenda, and there is concern about commitment to work and whether it has become too easy to get economic support. This article explores how welfare recipients are framed in the public debate and subjected to welfare stigma in this context. Empirically we analyze several public welfare related debates the last decade and compare the dynamics of welfare stigma in relation to different types of welfare benefits. . Theoretically we use Goffman’s work on stigma and Titmuss’ discussion of the social division of welfare as points of departure.

Keywords: Stigma, welfare benefits, social division of welfare, dependency, activation policy

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