New Challenges for the Welfare State and New Ways to Study Them

Peter Taylor-Gooby*, Benjamin Leruth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter presents Democratic Forums as a new approach to studying welfare state attitudes that places the naïve assumptions of ordinary people at centre stage and limits the extent to which the pre-conceptions of researchers shape research questions.

We present some key findings: although attitude patterns correspond loosely to regime type, there is a striking emphasis on the demand for social investment as the way forward in all countries examined. In each instance there is strong support for the main welfare state services, but major variation in the extent to which unemployed people are devalued. Immigration is seen as a source of major tensions. The intergenerational contract is resilient, but with greater emphasis on the needs of younger people. There are large differences in the extent to which most people see their country’s welfare state as being sustainable in anything like the current form, with the lowest public confidence expressed in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAttitudes, Aspirations and Welfare
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Policy Directions in Uncertain Times
EditorsPeter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783319757834
ISBN (Print)9783319757827
Publication statusPublished - 14-Jun-2018
Externally publishedYes


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