Welfare State Cutbacks and Electoral Punishment (WSCEP)

Project Term: 1.1.2015 – 31.12.2018

Funding: Danish Research Council

Team: Georg Wenzelburger, Carsten Jensen (Principal Investigator) and Christoph Arndt [University of Aarhus (Denmark)]

Project Description:

The project examines the interplay between welfare state austerity, electoral punishment and the use of political strategies by political actors?. The core of the project is an extensive data collection on welfare state reforms, the policies used (distinguishing between framing and policy strategies), and their impact on government popularity?(based on polls) and on public protests. This data collection makes it possible to analyze the complex causal mechanisms of action between policies of austerity on the one hand and electoral punishment on the other and the moderating influence of political strategies. Six Western industrialized countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA) will be examined in the period from 1985 to 2014. This comparative analysis is complemented by online experiments aimed at estimating the actual effects of political strategies (such as framing). These will be carried out in Germany, Denmark and the USA. The experiments build on the results of comparative analysis of actual reform policies.

Project related publications:

  • Jensen, Carsten/Lee, Seonghui/Arndt, Christoph/Wenzelburger, Georg (2016): “Hvordan reagerer vælgerne på velfærdsforringelser?“, in: Politica, 48:3, 303-319.
  • Jensen, Carsten/Arndt, Christoph/Lee, Seonghui/Wenzelburger, Georg (2017): „Policy instruments and welfare state reform“, in: Journal of European Social Policy, 28:2, 161-176.
  • Lee, Seonghui/Jensen, Carsten/Arndt, Christoph/Wenzelburger, Georg (2017): “Risky business? Welfare state reforms and government support in Britain and Denmark”, in: British Journal of Political Science, 1-20, Early View.