English title: The Grapes of Wrath: Welfare Attitudes in Bailed-Out Portugal

Author(s): Filipe da Silva - Monica Brito Vieira - Laura, J. Valadez Martínez -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2013


This paper compares welfare attitudes in Portugal before and after the June 2011 bailout, using survey data from the 2008 European Social Survey (rotating module on the “welfare state”) and our own follow-up survey (spring 2013). Our findings suggest the welfare retrenchment rhetoric and agenda by both the international trio of funding bodies (the “Troika”) and the centre-right two-party coalition government elected immediately after the bailout have had significant unintended consequences. If, on the one hand, pessimism with the welfare provision in Portugal and skepticism regarding the social efficacy of social provision have grown dramatically, suggesting the internalization of the retrenchment rhetoric, on the other, this has been accompanied by a no less significant increase in the support for the welfare state among the “Troika’s children”, i.e. labour market outsiders, whose numbers have increased dramatically as the result of Troika’s austerity measures and the ensuing economic crisis. We further explore this impact by identifying three social groups with distinctively different sets of welfare attitudes (welfarists, hopeful welfarists, and liberal individualists), and by providing an explanation for this shift in social attitudes in terms of socio-demographic attributes (gender, etc.), social norms (citizenship norms) and cognitive practices (reflectivity, awareness).

Conference name: 7th ECPR General Conference

Location: Bordeaux

Start date: Sep 4, 2013

Type: Paper