1st Edition

Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State

By Benjamin Veghte, Steffen Mau Copyright 2007
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Drawing together leading international experts such as Knut Halvorsen, Robert Y. Shapiro, Stefan Svallfors and Wim van Oorschot, this volume addresses issues of justice and legitimacy in the context of welfare state transformation. The contributors demonstrate that the Western welfare state is not at risk of losing support or encountering fundamental opposition, but does face serious challenges including growing social and ethnic diversity, new social risks, fiscal constraints and contested notions of justice. The volume focuses on four main aspects: attitude formation in cross-national perspective, the just distribution of burdens and benefits, political factors mediating the effects of social attitudes on public policy and challenges to the welfare state stemming from immigration and ethnic diversity. Providing a comparative perspective on the issue, Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State makes a significant contribution to the literature on the public standing of the welfare state.

    Contents: Preface by the Editors; Introduction: social justice, legitimacy and the welfare state, Steffen Mau and Benjamin Veghte. Part I Welfare-Attitude Formation from a Cross-National Perspective: Social stratification and political articulation: why attitudinal class differences vary across countries, Staffan Kumlin and Stefan Svallfors; Who supports the welfare state? Determinants of preferences concerning redistribution, Philipp Rehm; Are the 'deserving needy' really deserving everywhere? Cross-cultural heterogeneity and popular support for the old and the sick in 8 Western countries, Mads Meier Jæger. Part II Burdens and Benefits: The Justice Perspective: When is a taxation system just? Attitudes towards general taxation principles and towards the justice of one's own tax burden, Stefan Liebig and Steffen Mau; The moral economy of poverty: on the conditionality of public support for social assistance schemes, Patrick Sachweh, Carsten G. Ulrich and Bernhard Christoph. Part III Political Factors Shaping Welfare Attitudes: Social policy preferences, national defense and political polarization in the United States, Benjamin Veghte, Greg M. Shaw and Robert Y. Shapiro; Populist challenges to the welfare state in Belgium: on the susceptibility of the underprivileged for anti-welfare state discourse and politics, Anton Derks; The welfare state consensus in Israel: placing class politics in context, Michael Shalev. Part IV The Challenge of Social and Ethnic Diversity: Multi-level determinants of the public's informal solidarity towards immigrants in European welfare states, Wim van Oorschot and Wilfred Uunk; Legitimacy of welfare states in transitions from homogeneity to multiculturality: a matter of trust, Knut Halvorsen; Index.


    Steffen Mau is Professor of Political Sociology and Director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) at the University of Bremen, Germany. He works in the fields of comparative welfare research, social inequality, transnationalization and European integration. Recent publications include The Moral Economy of Welfare States. Britain and Germany Compared (2003); and Challenges to the Welfare State (3 volumes, edited with S. Leibfried, 2007). Benjamin Veghte is Assistant Professor and Director of Studies at the Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany. He works in the fields of US social policy, politics, social inequality and political mobilization, all in historical-comparative context. He has published on the issues of social housing, health care, social assistance and trade-based social policy.

    'This edited collection of conference and invited papers offers a coherent, well-researched and detailed international picture of public attitudes to social justice and the welfare state.' Citizen's Income 'This book provides an up-to-date overview of research on public opinion about the fairness of welfare state arrangements. It is particularly timely as restructuring raises questions about the legitimacy of benefit systems and about citizens' willingness to pay the taxes and social contributions expected from them.' Peter Taylor-Gooby, University of Kent, UK '...the editors are to be commended for providing a stimulating contribution to the continuing moral and philosophical debate about the future of social welfare.' Reviewed in Ethics and Social Welfare