Welfare state in uncertainty: disparity in social expectations and attitudes

Olga Kutsenko, Andrii Gorbachyk


In this paper we estimate empirically a prospective type of welfare regime for Ukraine through testing the correspondence between ideal types of welfare regimes and mass attitudes to state support of individual well-being. In accordance with G.Esping-Andersen’s classification (1990), we consider three types of welfare regimes which have their historical bases in Europe and use the examples of three European countries as empirical referents for comparative analysis. The analysis of social attitudes to welfare regimes is based on data from ESS Round 4 (2008-2009) and is done in a three-dimension space of social expectations, assessments, and estimations of state social support for individual welfare. The comparison of social attitudes to state support for individual well-being in Ukraine and in three selected European countries allows us to come to a conclusion about the possibility of welfare reforms in Ukraine that would move it towards having one of the ideal types of European welfare regimes. Using a linear regression model we test the influence of institutional, cultural and structural factors on individual expectations about the social responsibility of a state. The empirical analysis demonstrates that the ‘three welfare regimes’ theoretical model accurately describes differences in social attitudes between West European countries like Great Britain, Germany and Sweden. However, as was expected from a theoretical perspective the empirical profiles of social attitudes towards welfare regimes in the post-Socialist countries contain substantial mismatches. The research outcomes highlight the currently very unsteady process of welfare development in different types of European societies. Post-Socialist states as a whole, and post-Soviet states especially, are unique ‘worlds’of welfare attitudes in wider Europe.


social responsibility, welfare regime, social attitudes and expectations

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14267/cjssp.2014.02.03


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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X