Chapter 6 Religiosity and Support for the Welfare State
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This chapter examines how support for the welfare state is affected by people’s religious orientations, and how the relationship between the two has changed over time in Europe. During recent decades, European societies have secularized, as notable sections of European populations have dropped out of religious affiliations and became estranged from religious beliefs and behaviour. However, at the same time there are slight tendencies towards increasing religious pluralism due to increasing immigration and an increasing interest in new forms of religiosity. This chapter analyses data from the ESS 2002-2016 to find out what repercussions the religious change has brought to the social and political values of Europeans. The leading questions are whether or not individuals’ preferences about welfare policies depend on their personal religious commitment, which direction the relationship takes, and whether the impact of religiosity on welfare attitudes has remained stable or has weakened or strengthened.

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