Welfare solidarities in the age of mass migration: evidence from European Social Survey 2016
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Welfare opinion research has traditionally viewed migration as a potential hazard for welfare solidarity. In this article, we argue that while increased presence of foreigners can indeed make some people less supportive of public welfare provision in general or trigger opposition to migrants' social rights, the link between migration and solidarity is not universally a negative one. Instead, many people can combine support for migration with high preferences for comprehensive social protection; others can endorse migration while they are not particularly supportive of an all-encompassing welfare state. Based on this line of reasoning we construct a taxonomy of four ideal types of welfare solidarity that are present in contemporary European welfare states. To illustrate the usefulness of this heuristic tool, we apply Latent Class Factor Analysis to European Social Survey round 8 data. We find that the majority of Europeans (56%) combine strong support for both migration and the welfare state (extended solidarity). However, exclusive solidarity is also widely spread as over a quarter of respondents (28%) oppose migration while expressing strong support for the welfare state. People who oppose migration and have relatively low preference for the welfare state (diminished solidarity) represent a small minority (5%). A little more than a tenth (11%) of Europeans endorse migration, but express relatively low support for the welfare state, which we assume to be a reflection of cosmopolitan solidarity. Despite considerable variation in the incidence of the four solidarities across countries, the preference structure is the same for all. Further, we find that at the individual level, the propensity to hold one of these types of solidarities is influenced by social trust, citizenship and country of birth, financial situation, education, and residence type. However, the extent of migration and social spending do not appear to be related with the propensity of holding either type of solidarity as the liberal's dilemma and the welfare chauvinism theories would predict. Show more
Journal / seriesActa Politica
Pages / Article No.
SubjectWelfare solidarity; Taxonomy; Europe; Migration; Welfare spending
MoreShow all metadata