Regimes, Social Risks and the Welfare Mix: Unpacking Attitudes to Pensions and Childcare in Germany and the UK Through Deliberative Forums

Peter Taylor-Gooby*, Jan Ocko Heuer, Heejung Chung, Benjamin Leruth, Steffen Mau, Katharina Zimmermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Modern welfare regimes rest on a range of actors - state, market, family/households, employers and charities - but austerity programmes diminish the contribution of the state. While changes in this 'welfare mix' require support from the population, attitude studies have focused mainly on people's views on state responsibilities, using welfare regime theory to explain differences. This paper contributes to our understanding of the welfare mix by including other providers such as the market, the family or employers, and also introduces social risk theories, contrasting new and old risks. Regime theory implies differences will persist over time, but risk theory suggests that growing similarities in certain risks may tend to promote international convergence. This article examines attitudes to the roles of state, market, family, charity/community and employer for pension and childcare in Germany and the UK. We collected data using deliberative forums, a new method in social policy research that allows citizens space to pursue extended lightly moderated discussion and permits researchers to analyse people's justifications for their attitudes. Our research indicated patterns of convergence especially in preferences for childcare, but that regime predominates in people's justifications for their attitudes: regime differences in attitudes are resilient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number004727941800079
Pages (from-to)61-79
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Policy
Issue number1
Early online date9-Jan-2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2020
Externally publishedYes



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