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The ideological roots of the support for welfare state reform: Support for distributive and commodifying reform in The Netherlands



This article examines the extent to which four major trends in welfare state reform – privatisation, increasing selectivity, increasing activation and increasing discipline – are supported and how this support can be explained. Using recent public opinion data of the Dutch population, it is found that there are two ideological dimensions underlying welfare reform support, the first tapping distributive reform, the latter tapping commodifying reform. While support for distributive reform in the direction of decreasing redistribution can solely be explained by economic interests and economic values, support for commodifying reform can also be explained culturally. It appears that one's cultural position and cultural ideological values are important for support for commodifying reform.

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