This paper explores the effect of welfare state dissatisfaction on Euroscepticism by means of European Social Survey data of 2018, focussed on four countries (Norway, Germany, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom). It is believed that citizens tend to ‘blame Europe’ for defaults in their national welfare system and that this results in Eurosceptic attitudes. The data suggest that variations in this relationship can be accounted for the type of welfare regime. Previous literature states that the effect of dissatisfaction on Euroscepticism may be stronger for more protective welfare regimes (socio-democratic, conservative, post-communist) than the liberal regime, as there might be more at stake for these welfare regimes regarding EU unification and integration. Nevertheless, results show that the most protective regimes are less Eurosceptic than the liberal regime. However, the relationship between welfare state dissatisfaction and Euroscepticism is stronger in more protective welfare regimes. The moderating effect of welfare regime can’t be explained by theories about European integration and how generous a welfare regime is. Future research could help clarify these findings.

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Gijs Custers, Ferry Koster
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

de Vette, R. (2020, June 21). The Impact of National Welfare State Dissatisfaction and the Type of Welfare Regime on Euroscepticism: A Comparative Analysis. Sociology. Retrieved from