Fairness and social provision: qualitative evidence from Germany and the UK

Peter Taylor-Gooby and Rose Martin

in Converging Worlds of Welfare?

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584499
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728792 | DOI:

Series: Creating Sustainable Growth In Europe

Fairness and social provision: qualitative evidence from Germany and the UK

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Germany and the UK are often contrasted as leading European examples of the two main currents in the political economy of state welfare. Germany represents the conservative regulated market approach, dominant across mainland Europe, while the UK typifies a more liberal market regime, influential internationally because it is enthusiastically promoted by the US. This chapter discusses these differences in the light of findings from an innovative cross-national qualitative attitude study. This shows how concepts such as equality of opportunity, social contribution, and market freedom are valued in both countries but are often understood differently. Corporatist and liberal frameworks influence the ideas of ordinary citizens about social provision. While there is substantial agreement across the EU on common approaches to employment and social inclusion, this may mask real differences in the way basic ideas about social provision are understood in different national contexts.

Keywords: equality of opportunity; liberalism; market freedom; focus groups; social attitudes

Chapter.  8383 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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