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Deservingness perceptions, welfare state support and vote choice in Western Europe


Attewell, David (2021). Deservingness perceptions, welfare state support and vote choice in Western Europe. West European Politics, 44(3):611-634.

Abstract

In today’s diversified party systems, the economic dimension is no longer a unidimensional conflict between pro-redistribution voters of the left and anti-redistribution voters of the right. Analyzing 2016 European Social Survey data for 15 Western European countries, this article argues that perceptions of the deservingness of benefit recipients and attitudes towards the scope of the welfare state are distinct, powerful predictors of vote choice. The effects of attitudes on these two subdimensions are strong and congruent in predicting voting for older party families. Deservingness perceptions are an even more powerful predictor of voting for green and radical right parties, while attitudes towards the scope of the welfare state are not significant predictors of voting for either. Disaggregating the economic left/right reveals that certain types of redistribution attitudes predict vote choice even for parties known for their positions on ‘non-economic’ issues like immigration and European integration.

Abstract

In today’s diversified party systems, the economic dimension is no longer a unidimensional conflict between pro-redistribution voters of the left and anti-redistribution voters of the right. Analyzing 2016 European Social Survey data for 15 Western European countries, this article argues that perceptions of the deservingness of benefit recipients and attitudes towards the scope of the welfare state are distinct, powerful predictors of vote choice. The effects of attitudes on these two subdimensions are strong and congruent in predicting voting for older party families. Deservingness perceptions are an even more powerful predictor of voting for green and radical right parties, while attitudes towards the scope of the welfare state are not significant predictors of voting for either. Disaggregating the economic left/right reveals that certain types of redistribution attitudes predict vote choice even for parties known for their positions on ‘non-economic’ issues like immigration and European integration.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:18 Jan 2022 09:17
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 03:05
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2020.1715704