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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines comparative research in the field as far as it relates to attitudes towards welfare policies and the (re)distribution of resources and life chances. First, it presents the first generation of comparative welfare attitude research, in which national surveys on the topic were established and could be compared. It then moves on to survey the turn towards explicitly comparative studies, and in particular extensive research on the link between welfare regimes and attitudinal patterns. Furthermore, recent developments in attitude studies beyond the welfare regimes framework are reported. It is shown that institutional analyses are still highly useful in clarifying the mechanisms behind the formation of welfare state attitudes. Finally, a section preceding the conclusion highlights important challenges for the future. The field of comparative welfare attitudes has become explicitly comparative using country variation as a key analytical tool.

Keywords: welfare state attitude, national surveys, attitudinal patterns, public attitudes, welfare policies, comparative research

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