Multi-level blame attribution and public support for EU welfare policies

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2023
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Pellegata, Alessandro
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Zusammenfassung

Since the Eurozone crisis, intense political debate has resurfaced about deservingness judgements in European solidarity. To contribute to this debate, this article proposes a refined concept of ‘multi-level blame attribution’. It postulates that public support for EU-level welfare policies crucially depends on how citizens attribute responsibility for economic outcomes across different levels of agency. Results from an original public opinion survey conducted in 10 European Union member states demonstrate that attributing blame to individuals decreases citizens’ willingness to show solidarity with needy Europeans, whereas attributing blame to the EU increases support. The role of attributing blame to national governments is dependent on the country context; beliefs that worse economic outcomes are caused by national governments’ policy decisions tend to dampen support for EU targeted welfare policies only in the Nordic welfare states. The article concludes by discussing the implications of multi-level blame attribution for the formation of public attitudes towards European solidarity.

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320 Politik
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European solidarity; deservingness; blame attribution; Eurozone crisis; European Union
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ISO 690BAUTE, Sharon, Alessandro PELLEGATA, 2023. Multi-level blame attribution and public support for EU welfare policies. In: West European Politics. Taylor & Francis. 2023, 46(7), pp. 1369-1395. ISSN 0140-2382. eISSN 1743-9655. Available under: doi: 10.1080/01402382.2022.2126679
BibTex
@article{Baute2023Multi-58873,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1080/01402382.2022.2126679},
  title={Multi-level blame attribution and public support for EU welfare policies},
  number={7},
  volume={46},
  issn={0140-2382},
  journal={West European Politics},
  pages={1369--1395},
  author={Baute, Sharon and Pellegata, Alessandro}
}
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