Does the Immigration Issue Divide German Attitudes toward Social Welfare?

in German Politics and Society
Author:
Laura Häkkilä PhD Student, University of Eastern Finland, Finland laura.hakkila@uef.fi

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Michael Pfeifer Professor, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

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Timo Toikko Professor, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

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Abstract

This article explores the association of German attitudes toward social welfare and immigration, and how regional and political factors affect that relationship. The data was retrieved from Round 8 of the European Social Survey, which includes 2,852 German participants. Quantitative methodology was used to study the hypotheses. Analyses demonstrate that attitudes on immigration and social welfare are associated. However, the regional factor of Eastern and Western Germany and political self-placement shape the population concerning the relationship between social welfare and immigration. The immigration issue diverges the views of both the leftists and Western Germans to social welfare more than the rightists and Eastern Germans. In this respect, the immigration issue shapes the view of the German welfare state.

Contributor Notes

Laura Häkkilä holds an MA in Social Sciences and Social Work and is a PhD student at the University of Eastern Finland. Her research focuses on the effect of immigration attitudes on social welfare attitudes, and the factors that moderate that effect. Her previous research article examined social welfare attitudes within the Nordic countries. She has participated in a few municipal-level analyzes on the child protection services. She is also a licensed social worker and has worked in child protection services and public health care in Finland. Email: laura.hakkila@uef.fi

Michael Pfeifer is a visiting professor at the University of Eastern Finland and a methodological supervisor for a research project on a child protection system in Finland. His expertise is in research methods. He has worked in numerous research projects and published articles on education systems.

Timo Toikko is Professor of the development of social welfare at the University of Eastern Finland. He is the head of the Department of Social Sciences. He has written books on the history of Finnish social welfare, the methodology of research-based development, and the development of social care services. His current research is focused on the function of social care services at the systems level, and citizens’ attitudes toward the state's responsibility for welfare.

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