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Political Research Exchange

Policy Feedback, Political Behaviour, and Democratic Citizenship in European Welfare States

Workshop Director
Staffan Kumlin
Universitetet i Oslo
Workshop Co-Director
Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen
Universität Bern

In democracies, citizens’ attitudes and behaviour should influence future public policies. But the reverse may be just as true: attitudes and behaviour are also results of previous policies. This idea of policy feedback can be traced through the history of political science. But it has been slow to reach the mainstream of empirical political behaviour research. In the last decade, however, feedback hypotheses have increasingly been tested in studies on political trust, participation, social policy attitudes, social capital, and civil society participation. Collectively they suggest that political behaviour and democratic citizenship not only function as exogenous democratic input but are (re)shaped by policies. Many studies concern the welfare and social policy domain. In Europe, this is because many countries experience difficulties in delivering on previous commitments to public services and income replacement systems. Similarly, labour market policies and incentive structures are changing. Thus, a broad ambition for the workshop is examining how the restructuring of European welfare states affect political behaviour and democratic citizenship. In doing this, we aim at general scientific progress along several lines. We invite studies conceiving of feedback effects (also) in an interactive and disaggregated manner, with different groups and individuals affected differently by the same policies, and with different individuals being exposed to different parts of the same “welfare regime.” Further, we want to identify generic mechanisms of feedback relevant for a whole range of specific dependent variables. This will have an integrating function and allow a parsimonious understanding of policy feedback. Methodologically, we need studies that take seriously the reciprocal causal relationship between policy and individual behaviour/attitudes.

Paper List

Title Details
‘Policy-feedback effects’ and cross-national variation on levels of political membership in Europe View Paper Details
Austerity policies and political involvement in Spain View Paper Details
Democracy in Crisis? The Declining Support for Democracy in European Countries 2006-2011 View Paper Details
Do voters punish political parties that propose and/or implement welfare retrenchment? View Paper Details
Feedback in Context: How Campaign Attention and Economic Conditions Moderate Welfare Generosity Effects on Democratic Satisfaction View Paper Details
Fiscal choices and the electoral response in the United Kingdom View Paper Details
Ideology, Politics and Economy: Popular Ideology, Public Politics, and Economic Development View Paper Details
Labour Market Deregulation and Party Preferences of Temporary Workers in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK View Paper Details
Migrant Children in Switzerland - how integration and school policy affects their educational chances View Paper Details
Policy feedback and multi-level legitimacy. The exploratory case of Belgium View Paper Details
Popular welfare deservingness of unemployed people in economic, institutional and cultural contexts. Evidence from the European Social Survey 2008 View Paper Details
Raising the retirement age - Policy feedback and individual attitudes in times of welfare state retrenchment View Paper Details
Shaping of Electoral Alignments and Attitudes through Welfare State Policies in European Democracies View Paper Details
The Electoral Effects of Globalization-Induced Layoffs in Liberal and Conservative Welfare State Regimes View Paper Details
The electoral feedback effects of welfare reform in mature European welfare states View Paper Details
The mobilizing effects of welfare policy: A cure for political inequality? View Paper Details
The Nordic Welfare Service Production and its feedback: Evidence from Denmark View Paper Details
Towards a more concrete imagined community: How Welfare State and public policies influence national belonging and its changes in France, Belgium and the UK. View Paper Details
What shapes education-dependent inequalities of political participation in Europe? Political behavior, educational systems and Varieties of Capitalism View Paper Details
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