Politized coalitions: Social affinity and the politics of redistribution
Does the structure of inequality in a society matter for the amount of redistribution from rich to poor? New, groundbreaking research indicates this to be the case: Where the market income of the middle class is comparably close to that of the poor, a cross-class coalition between the two groups emerges. This cross-class coalition will tend to favor a generous welfare state and extensive redistribution. We add to this in two ways. First, we complement the theoretical framework by highlighting the role of the politicization of multiculturalism. We posit that the social affinity between the middle class and the poor is lower when multiculturalism becomes politicized. Second, we provide new information on the mechanism by which social affinity affects redistribution. When the income of the middle class is comparatively close to the income of the poor, more people vote for left-leaning parties; yet as multiculturalism becomes politicized, this effect disappears.
Keywordswelfare state redistribution inequality social affinity politicization skew
- Armingeon, K., Weisstanner, D., Engler, S., Potolidis, P., Gerber, M. and Leimgruber, P. (2011) Codebook: Comparative Political Data Set I, 1960–2009, http://www.ipw.unibe.ch/unibe/wiso/ipw/content/e2425/e2426/e3672/e5109/files10034/CPDSICodebook1960-2009UPDATE_ger.pdf, accessed 19 May 2012.
- Arndt, C. (2012) Velfærdsreformernes elektorale konsekvenser for Socialdemokraterne. Politica 44(3): 416–434.Google Scholar
- Brugge, J.v.d. and Voss, H. (2007) Årsager til de socialistiske partiers tilbagegang i perioden 1990–2005. In: J.G. Andersen, J. Andersen and O. Borre (eds.) Det Nye Politiske Landskab. Folketingsvalget i Perspektiv. Aarhus, Denmark: Academica.Google Scholar
- Esping-Andersen, G. (1985) Politics Against Markets: The Social Democratic Road to Power. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Green-Pedersen, C. (2011) Partier I Nye Tider. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.Google Scholar
- Iyengar, S., Peters, M.D. and Kinder, D.R. (1982) Experimental demonstrations of the ‘not-so-minimal’ consequences of television news programs. American Political Science Review 76(4): 848–858.Google Scholar
- Jensen, C. and Seeberg, H. (2014) The power of talk: Left opposition agenda-setting and right government retrenchment. Socio-Economic Review, advance online publication 19 April, doi: 10.1093/ser/mwu016.Google Scholar
- OECD (2011) Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
- Pedersen, P.J. (2011) Immigration and Welfare Cash Benefits: The Danish case, Bonn: IZA: Discussion Papers No. 6220: 1–36.Google Scholar
- Stubager, R., Hansen, K.M. and Andersen, J.G. (2013) Krisevalg: Økonomien og folketingsvalget 2011. Copenhagen, Denmark: DJØF.Google Scholar
- Volkens, A., Lacewell, O., Lehmann, P., Regel, S., Schultz, H. and Werner, A. (2012) The Manifesto Data Collection, Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR). Berlin: Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), https://manifestoproject.wzb.eu/, accessed 6 July 2013.