Social Policy Preferences in the Global South: An Analysis of Welfare Demand in the Context of Structural Uncertainty
Standard political economy approaches on social policy and redistributive preferences emphasize the influence of factors such as income status, employment uncertainty, social mobility, and skills. However, because social policy research has largely neglected the specific characteristics of low and middle income states, the transferability of social policy theories to the welfare systems of the Global South is open to question. Initial findings from this nascent research field within comparative political economy research has revealed that social policy preferences are not sufficiently explained by income group, education, employment stability, and skill levels, despite high rates of income inequality and poverty. Addressing this research gap, this dissertation asks how "context effects" - such as structural uncertainties, dysfunctional legal and fiscal capacities, inequality, and a large informal economy - relate to specific social policy preferences within developing countries. Based on public opinion and macro data, the study takes a comparative approach to low and middle income democracies. Applying hierarchical modeling techniques, the dissertation focuses on the quantitative study of welfare demand, linking micro and macro level theories from welfare state research. Project duration: October 2010 to December 2013.