VALADEZ, L. and CARREIRA DA SILVA, F., 2015. Sophie's choice: social attitudes to welfare state retrenchment in bailed-out Portugal. European Societies 17(3), pp.351-371.
This article examines social attitudes towards social rights in Portugal. It utilizes original survey data from 2013 to study the distribution of welfare attitudes in a context of economic austerity and welfare retrenchment. The main argument is that there are at least two sources of preference-formation regarding public social provision: one is universalistic (or needs-based), the other is contributory. These two logics frame choices concerning the future of the welfare state in Portugal. We explore the determinants of this choice through three hypotheses: dualization between insiders and outsiders (H1); the type of welfare regime (H2), and social rights consciousness (H3). Our findings suggest that choice between universalistic and contributory models is not impervious to macro-institutional factors and labour market performance. The paper’s main contribution, however, is to empirically demonstrate that this choice is significantly shaped by pre-existing understandings of social rights in Portugal, namely its politically contested character.