The rise of interventionism in the European Union and its social foundations. An analysis of economic attitudes between 1990 and 2008
Based on the European Values Study, this article shows that the rejection of economic liberalism is not an epiphenomenon resulting from the 2007 crisis, but has been an
underlying trend across the European Union since the 1990s. By examining attitudes towards the state, it shows that almost all Europeans became more interventionist between 1990 and 2008. Since the economic and political characteristics of individuals had a combined influence, we emphasize that social vulnerability is not always a sufficient condition for support for the state. Several homologies between the micro- and macrosociological levels are also observed. Although the most vulnerable Europeans are the most supportive of the state, those living in countries with the greatest inequality are more likely to develop social demands. The few countries where intervention is declining are those where confidence in institutions tends to be diminishing ; which also reveals the symbolic bases of demands on the state.
Keywords. CONFIDENCE IN INSTITUTIONS – WELFARE STATE – ECONOMIC INTERVENTIONISM – ECONOMIC LIBERALISM – MULTILEVEL MODELS – PUBLIC OPINION