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Welfare Dualism in Two Scandinavian Welfare States: Public Opinion and Party Politics

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Recent research on the legitimacy of the welfare state has pointed to a potential negative impact of immigration. While much of this research has been concerned with a possible weakening of the general support for economic redistribution, this article analyses popular support for the introduction of a two-tier (dualist) welfare system, and focuses on the interplay between public opinion and party competition. It uses survey data from Denmark and Norway: two similar welfare states where elite politics on migration and welfare dualism has been markedly different over the last decade. It finds that the level and structure of popular support for welfare dualism are fairly similar in the two countries, but that attitudes toward dualism have a stronger impact on left–right voting in Denmark where the politics of welfare dualism has been actively advocated by the populist right party and pursued by a right-wing coalition government.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2013

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