Welfare reforms have been high on the agenda for several decades (e.g. Bonoli & Natali, 2012). Retrenchment, marketization and conditionality of welfare services and benefits, as well as new forms of governance have transformed social provisions in most Western European democracies.
Most of the research has assessed the impact on welfare generosity and protections again risks. International comparisons sought to unveil whether the turn to neoliberalism and globalization has triggered policy (di)convergence. However, little attention has been paid to the impacts of these reforms on citizens’ political attitudes and behaviours even though they are known to shape not only their attitudes towards welfare and governmental institutions and, more generally, politics, but also their political participation (Cammett, Lynch, & Bilev, 2015; Campbell, 2003; Soss & Schram, 2007; Watson, 2015). How do welfare reforms and their implementation impact on citizens’ political participation, their understanding of self-worth as citizens and their sense of belonging to a political community?
Bringing the citizens back in: Understanding the impact of neoliberal welfare reforms from a citizens’ perspective – Panel organised at the 2019 ESPAnet conference in Stockholm 5/7
September, Margherita Bussi and Claire Dupuy