How European welfare states will develop is hard to predict. People’s current aspirations, ideas and assumptions will be important drivers of change and persistence and of the extent to which conflict and solidarity surround change. This project uses innovative methods (deliberative democratic forums, a qualitative cross-national focus group survey) to develop understanding of people’s aspirations for the Europe their children will inhabit.The interactive and discursive methods proposed deal directly with people’s ideas, but are rarely used in comparative welfare studies. The project is essentially forward-looking. It will contribute to theoretical work on the main cleavages and solidarities driving social policy in different European welfare states and to more practical consideration of the parameters of acceptable policy change. It will supply new findings relevant to the politics and sociology of welfare and provide data for reanalysis and as a base-line in future studies. The team have led major cross-national projects and will press home findings in national and EU-level policy debate.The applicant will co-ordinate the work with the partners and an Advisory Board in three stages:
- European-level literature review (co-ordination team); national reviews of attitudes
to welfare and welfare politics (all partners);
- Data gathering: Deliberative Forums and Focus Group studies (all partners);
- Analysis, dissemination and engagement of research users (co-co-ordinating
Co-ordination will be facilitated by setting clear objectives at each stage and will be pursued through conferences to assess progress, plan work, integrate findings and agree publication, dissemination and engagement strategies.