Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-2p87r Total loading time: 0.194 Render date: 2021-10-17T17:27:13.877Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

National Identity and Support for the Welfare State

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2010

Richard Johnston*
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia
Keith Banting*
Affiliation:
Queen's University
Will Kymlicka*
Affiliation:
Queen's University
Stuart Soroka*
Affiliation:
McGill University
*
Richard Johnston, University of British Columbia, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, C425-1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1. Email: rjohnston@politics.ubc.ca.
Keith Banting, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Room 217, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6. Email: keith.banting@queensu.ca.
Will Kymlicka, Department of Philosophy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6. Email: kymlicka@queensu.ca.
Stuart Soroka, Department of Political Science, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke St West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7. Email: stuart.soroka@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

Abstract. This paper examines the role of national identity in sustaining public support for the welfare state. Liberal nationalist theorists argue that social justice will always be easier to achieve in states with strong national identities, which, they contend, can both mitigate opposition to redistribution among high-income earners and reduce any corroding effects of ethnic diversity resulting from immigration. We test these propositions with Canadian data from the Equality, Security and Community survey. We conclude that national identity does increase support for the welfare state among the affluent majority of Canadians and that it helps to protect the welfare state from toxic effects of cultural suspicion. However, we also find that identity plays a narrower role than existing theories of liberal nationalism suggest and that the mechanisms through which it works are different. This leads us to suggest an alternative theory of the relationship between national identity and the welfare state, one that suggests that the relationship is highly contingent, reflecting distinctive features of the history and national narratives of each country. National identity may not have any general tendency to strengthen support for redistribution, but it may do so for those aspects of the welfare state seen as having played a particularly important role in building the nation or in enabling it to overcome particular challenges or crises.

Résumé. Cet article examine le rôle de l'identité nationale en matière d'appui populaire à l'État-providence. Les théoriciens du nationalisme libéral soutiennent que la justice sociale sera toujours plus facile à réaliser dans les États ayant une forte identité nationale, laquelle, selon eux, peut à la fois atténuer l'opposition à la redistribution chez les personnes à revenu élevé et réduire les effets corrosifs de la diversité ethnique engendrée par l'immigration. Nous évaluons ces propositions à la lumière des données canadiennes de l'Étude sur l'égalité, la sécurité et la communauté. Nous concluons que l'identité nationale augmente effectivement l'appui envers l'État-providence parmi les Canadiens fortunés de la majorité, et qu'elle aide à protéger l'État-providence contre les effets toxiques de la suspicion culturelle. Cependant, nous constatons également que l'identité joue un rôle plus restreint que ne le suggèrent les théories existantes du nationalisme libéral et que ses mécanismes de fonctionnement sont différents. Cela nous amène à proposer une autre théorie de la relation entre l'identité nationale et l'État-providence, une théorie selon laquelle cette relation est fortement contingente et reflète les caractéristiques propres de l'histoire et de la tradition nationale de chaque pays. L'identité nationale n'a peut-être, en soi, aucune tendance générale à renforcer l'appui à la redistribution, mais elle peut le faire pour les aspects de l'État-providence considérés comme ayant joué un rôle particulièrement important dans l'édification de la nation, ou lui ayant permis de surmonter des crises ou des défis particuliers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abizadeh, Arash. 2002. “Does Liberal Democracy Presuppose a Cultural Nation? Four Arguments.” American Political Science Review 96: 495509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alesina, Alberto, Baqir, Reza and Easterly, William. 2001. “Public goods and ethnic divisions.” NBER Working Paper no. 6009. Cambridge MA: NBER.Google Scholar
Alesina, Alberto and Glaeser, Edward. 2004. Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Banting, Keith and Kymlicka, Will, eds. 2006. Do Multiculturalism Policies Erode the Welfare State? Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barry, Brian. 1991. Democracy and Power: Essays in Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Béland, Daniel and Lecours, André. 2008. Nationalism and Social Policy: The Politics of Territorial Solidarity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canovan, Margaret. 1994. Nationhood and Political Theory. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
Citrin, Jack and Green, Donald Philip. 1990. “The Self-Interest Motive in American Public Opinion.” In Research in Micropolitics, ed. Long, Samuel, 3. Greenwich CN: JAI Press.Google Scholar
Citrin, Jack, Wong, Cara and Duff, Brian. 2001. “The Meaning of American National Identity.” In Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict, and Conflict Reduction, ed. Ashmore, Richard D., Jussin, Lee and Wilder, David. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Corneo, Giacomo and Gruner, Hans Peter. 2002. “Individual preferences for political redistribution.” Journal of Public Economics 83: 83107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crepaz, Markus. 2008. Trust beyond Borders: Immigration, the Welfare State and Identity in Modern Societies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
Cusack, Thomas, Iversen, Torben and Rehm, Philipp. 2006. “Risks at work: The demand and supply sides of government redistribution.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 22: 365–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Figureido, Rui J.P. Jr. and Elkins, Zachary. 2003. “Are Patriots Bigots? An Inquiry into the Vices of In-Group Pride.” American Journal of Political Science 47: 171–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Easterly, William. 2001a. “Can Institutions Resolve Ethnic Conflict?Economic Development and Cultural Change 49: 687706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Easterly, William. 2001b. The Elusive Quest for Economic Development: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Easterly, William and Levine, Ross. 1997. “Africa's Growth Tragedy: Politics and Ethnic Divisions.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112: 1203–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Esping-Andersen, Gosta. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Fearon, James. 2003. “Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country.” Journal of Economic Growth 8: 195222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fong, Christina. 2001. “Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution.” Journal of Public Economics 82: 225–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilens, Martin. 1999. Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goodhart, David. 2004. “Too Diverse?Prospect (February): 3037.Google Scholar
Hicks, Alexander. 1999. Social Democracy and Welfare Capitalism: A Century of Income Security Policies. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Huber, Evelyne and Stephens, John. 2001. Development and Crisis of the Welfare State: Parties and Policies in Global Markets. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iversen, Torben and Soskice, David. 2001. “An asset theory of social policy preferences.” American Political Science Review 95: 875–93.Google Scholar
James, Estelle. 1987. “The public/private division of responsibility for education in international comparison.” Economics of Education Review 6: 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, Estelle. 1993. “Why do different countries chose a different public/private mix of education services?Journal of Human Resources 28: 531–92.Google Scholar
Kernerman, Gerald. 2005. Multicultural Nationalism: Civilizing Difference, Constituting Community. Vancouver BC: UBC Press.Google Scholar
Korpi, Walter. 1983. The Democratic Class Struggle. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
La Ferrara, Eliana. 2002. “Self-Help Groups and Income Generation in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi.” Journal of African Economics 11: 6189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
La Ferrara, Eliana. 2003. “Ethnicity and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana.” American Economic Review 93: 1730–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linos, Katerina and West, Martin. 2003. “Self-interest, social beliefs, and attitudes to the redistribution.” European Sociological Review 19: 393409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Luttmer, Erzo. 2001. “Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution.” Journal of Political Economy 10: 500–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martinez-Herrera, Eric. 2004. “Liberal-Nationalist Theory, Political Confidence and Support for the Welfare State: Evidence from Britain.” San Domenico di Fiesole: European University Institute, Department of Political and Social Sciences, EUI Working Paper SPS No. 2004/8.Google Scholar
Mau, Steffen and Burkardt, Christoph. 2009. “Migration and welfare state solidarity in Western Europe.” Journal of European Social Policy 19: 213–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayda, Anna Maria. 2006. “Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants.” Review of Economics and Statistics 88: 510–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meltzer, Allan H. and Richard, Scott F.. 1981. “A Rational Theory of the Size of Government.” Journal of Political Economy 89: 914–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, David. 1995. On Nationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Miller, David. 1998. “The Left, the Nation–State and European Citizenship.” Dissent (Summer): 4751.Google Scholar
Miller, David. 2006. “Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Theoretical Reflections.” In Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Recognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies, ed. Banting, Keith and Kymlicka, Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Nettle, D. 2000. “Linguistic Fragmentation and the Wealth of Nations.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 49: 335–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
OECD. 2008. Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
Quadagno, Jill. 1988. The Transformation of Old Age Security: Class Politics in the American Welfare State. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Reich, Robert 1991. The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
Romer, Thomas. 1975. “Individual Welfare, Majority Voting and the Properties of a Linear Income Tax.” Journal of Public Economic 14: 163–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rorty, Richard. 1999. Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Shayo, Moses. 2009. “A Model of Social Identity with an Application to Political Economy: Nation, Class and Redistribution.” American Political Science Review 103: 147–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sides, John and Citrin, Jack. 2007. “European Opinion about Immigration: The Role of Identities, Interests and Information.” British Journal of Political Science 37: 477505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skocpol, Theda. 1991. “Targeting Within Universalism: Politically Viable Policies to Combat Poverty in the United States.” In The Urban Underclass, ed. Jencks, Christopher and Peterson, Paul. Washington DC: Brookings.Google Scholar
Sniderman, Paul M. and Hagendorn, Louk. 2007. When Ways of Life Collide: Multiculturalism and its Discontents in the Netherlands. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Soroka, Stuart N., Helliwell, John F. and Johnston, Richard. 2007. “Measuring and Modelling Interpersonal Trust.” In Social Capital, Diversity, and the Welfare State, ed. Kay, Fiona and Johnston, Richard. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
Soroka, Stuart N., Johnston, Richard and Banting, Keith. 2007a. “Ethnicity, Trust, and the Welfare State,” In Social Capital, Diversity, and the Welfare State, ed. Kay, Fiona and Johnston, Richard. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
Soroka, Stuart N., Johnston, Richard and Banting, Keith. 2007b. “The Ties that Bind: Social Diversity and Cohesion in Canada.” In Belonging? Diversity, Recognition and Shared Citizenship in Canada, ed. Banting, Keith, Courchene, Thomas and Seidle, Leslie. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy.Google Scholar
Soysal, Yasemin. 1994. Limits of Citizenship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Stephens, John. 1979. The Transition from Capitalism to Socialism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Svallors, Stefan. 1997. “Worlds of Welfare and Attitudes to Redistribution: A Comparison of Eight Western Nations.” European Sociological Review 13: 283304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Svallors, Stefan. 2003. “Welfare Regimes and Welfare Opinions: A Comparison of Eight Western Countries.” Social Indicators Research 64: 495520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swank, Duane. 2002. Global Capital, Political Institutions and Policy Change in Developed Welfare States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tamir, Yael 1993. Liberal Nationalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Taylor-Gooby, Peter. 2005. “Is the Future American? Or, Can Left Politics Preserve European Welfare States from Erosion through Growing ‘Racial’ Diversity?Journal of Social Policy 34: 661–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Uberoi, Varun. 2008. “Do Policies of Multiculturalism Change National Identities?Political Quarterly 79: 404–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
77
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

National Identity and Support for the Welfare State
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

National Identity and Support for the Welfare State
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

National Identity and Support for the Welfare State
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *