Categorizing discourses of welfare chauvinism: Temporal, selective, functional and cultural dimensions

Benjamin Leruth*, Peter Taylor-Gooby, Adrienn Győry

*Corresponding author for this work

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Welfare chauvinism, that is, the exclusion of non-citizens who live permanently within a state from social benefits and services, has become a mainstream form of welfare policy opposition advocated by some political parties and members of the public. While existing studies have successfully cast a light on the roots and scope of these policies, welfare chauvinism effectively encompasses a wide range of ideas that all have different meanings. Drawing on the stances taken by populist radical right parties, this article introduces five categories (or frames) of welfare chauvinism: temporary, selective, functional, cultural and, in its most extreme form, unconditional chauvinism. The article then illustrates how such categorization is applied empirically by focusing on the stances taken by three populist radical right parties and open-ended discussions held during mini-publics in examples of three different institutional forms of welfare state: Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. This article offers a more precise depiction of how this form of opposition to welfare state policies plays out in the public sphere, taking full account of how different forms and frames of welfare chauvinism yield different policy outcomes and implications in different institutional and political contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-141
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of European Social Policy
Issue number2
Early online date18-Jan-2024
Publication statusPublished - May-2024


  • mini-publics
  • policy framing
  • populism
  • public discourse
  • welfare chauvinism
  • welfare policy opposition


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