Don't Ask What Your Nation Can Do for You… Welfare State Attitudes and Individual Religiousness

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 11:21
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Annette SCHNABEL, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Dueseldorf, Germany
The presentation focuses on the effect of national heterogeneity on people’s support for welfare states, in particular towards redistribution and taxation. Research has shown that objective contextual and institutional conditions matter as well as individual affiliations and group memberships. Objective qualities of heterogeneity refer to objectively measurable differences like the degree of language fragmentation or economic diversities or the diversity of religious affiliations. Subjective qualities refer to individually perceived degree of heterogeneity and to the individual affiliation towards the religious or national “imagined communities” and individual belief systems.

The presentation addresses the question of whether the degree of heterogeneity of religious communities has any influence on the willingness to support redistribution this community?

Multi-level analyses on the basis of the EVS data from 2008 suggest that acceptance of taxation and of redistribution at least within the member states of the European Union (EU) depend to a considerable degree on religious identifications. According to the literature, religion is treated as a multi-dimensional concept comprising of belonging to a denomination, the individual salience of religiousness, the practice of ‘service attendance’, and the practise of ‘praying outside service’.

On the basis of a multi-level regression analysis the presentation will show, that the acceptance of governmental redistribution and taxation follows the religious dimensions differently: Religious memberships affect governmental redistribution and taxation in the way that “higher authority is favoured, but cheating is ok as well” and that context matters as well:

The existence of religious majorities affect the acceptance of redistribution negatively.

The presentation will contribute to a better understanding of how religious group affiliations, memberships and beliefs affect the acceptance to care for others and for the wellbeing of a (national) society.