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SPP 219

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP & Toni Makkai, Australian National U.
Description: The first object of this paper is to determine whether in post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe there is a cross-class consensus in favour of the collective state provision of welfare; an egoistic consensus favouring individual responsibility; or dissensus. Factor analysis of data from the New Democracies Barometer, a multi-national survey in nine countries--the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus and the Ukraine--produces a scale of attitudes toward state or individual provision of welfare. It shows dissensus in each country. Three alternative causes for dissensus--socio-economic differences, political values and national contexts--are tested with multivariate statistical analysis. Socio-economic differences are by far the most important cause of disagreement about welfare. Political values have little independent influence upon attitudes to welfare, and national differences are only marginally important. The results raise the possibility that there may be convergence on welfare values between East and West European countries through similar patterns of within-nation dissensus.

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