Democratic Forums and Welfare State Attitudes

Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin LERUTH

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The Democratic Forum approach makes a major contribution to understanding what people want from the welfare state and what they think is possible and to the framings that connect their ideas. Our work shows how intergenerational solidarity and support for the core welfare state services (healthcare and pensions) remain resilient across Europe, while views on inequality and, most importantly, on immigration differ between countries. Despite conflict, the dominant view across most of Europe is that immigration tensions can be managed through social and cultural integration. In the UK the primary stance is exclusionary and chauvinist.

In other policy areas the emphasis in popular ideas is shifting from old to young. The most striking finding is the strength with which social investment policies involving childcare, training, education and support into work are endorsed, for different reasons, in all five countries. Older people, especially in richer countries, are willing to make sacrifices to help their children’s generation.

Trust in government plays a strong role in welfare state attitudes, and the UK also stands out in the lack of public confidence in the capacity of its government to sustain decent services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAttitudes, Aspirations and Welfare
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Policy Directions in Uncertain Times
EditorsPeter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319757834
ISBN (Print)9783319757827
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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