This chapter explains how and why the book takes advantage of the availability of the two waves of the ESS to shed light on the question of how public opinion on European welfare states and social policies has developed between 2008 (the year of the banking crisis, coinciding with the year in which the first welfare attitudes module of the ESS was fielded) and 2016 (the year in which the repeat module was fielded). First, we discuss the central findings of analyses of the 2008 data to set a frame of reference for what may be gained by comparing the data from 2008 and 2016. After that, we briefly introduce the contents of the different chapters, and explain which particular social issues and research questions they address.
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