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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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From ‘welfare’ to ‘workfare’, and back again? Social insecurity and the changing role of the state

From ‘welfare’ to ‘workfare’, and back again? Social insecurity and the changing role of the state

(p.157) 12 From ‘welfare’ to ‘workfare’, and back again? Social insecurity and the changing role of the state
Data in Society

Christopher Deeming

Ron Johnston

Policy Press

All of the advanced societies must provide their citizens with protection against risk in order to secure continued economic and political stability. In Britain, we have seen a major shift in attitudes towards government and its role in providing social security. Unemployed people are now seen as less ‘deserving’ of welfare, as solidarity with unemployed workers has declined in the context of relatively low levels of unemployment and a public that has become more ‘workfarist’ and less ‘welfarist’ as labour market related risks are increasingly privatized. Here we examine the transfer of political ideas influencing public opinion and policy agendas, and ‘thermostatic’ (Wlezien 1995) theories of state transformation and cross-national attitudes. For this we draw on the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) data over a 32 year period, and successive waves of International Social Survey Programme’s (ISSP) Role of Government (RoG) module for the comparative study of Western welfare state attitudes covering a 31 year period.

Keywords:   Political parties, welfare, workfare, social attitudes, public opinion

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