Welfare State Legitimacy in Times of Crisis and Austerity: Between Continuity and Change. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Abstract: Over the past decade, European welfare states have experienced the 2008 banking crisis, which was quickly followed by an economic recession in 2009, which in turn invoked a fiscal and debt crisis in many of them. In reaction, most of the countries implemented fiscal consolidation programs, including significant welfare retrenchment and labour market reforms. Combined with longer-term structural societal changes, the crises and reforms generated intensified discussions about the necessity, feasibility and fairness of redistributive welfare arrangements. This volume sheds light on (changes in) the social legitimacy of present-day European welfare states by addressing the question how the welfare attitudes of Europeans have reacted to the economic recession, the consequent welfare reforms and the on-going debates. To this end, the book analyses the differences and similarities in welfare attitudes of Europeans in 2016 and 2008 (the beginning of the crises period), using data from the welfare attitudes modules of the European Social Survey waves 2008 and 2016.