Seminar: Alexandre Afonso – Welfare Chauvinism in Historical Perspective
Link to online seminar below
Welfare Chauvinism in Historical Perspective
Welfare chauvinism, defined as the willingness to restrict welfare benefits for immigrants and reserve them for the native population, is often understood as a recent phenomenon associated with recent immigration waves and how they interact with established welfare systems. In this presentation, I show that a number of welfare states in Europe displayed regulations to restrict or limit benefits for immigrants from their inception in the late 19th century. Drawing on the cases of France, the United kingdom and Germany between the late 19th century to World War 2, I present different instruments used to restrict access to benefits for non-citizens, regulate access to social protection, and protect native workers from competition. These instruments included reciprocity requirements, residency requirements, bans on the export of benefits, differential entitlements and the exclusion of public funds, and “ghost contributions” to avoid immigrants undercutting native workers even if they were excluded from benefits.
Alexandre Afonso is an associate professor in the department of public administration at Leiden University. His areas of research are comparative political economy, welfare sates and immigration. He is currently leading a Vidi project funded by the Dutch science organization NWO on the relationship between immigration control and social protection. His work has been published in journals such as the Socio-Economic Review, Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research and Governance. He is writing a book provisionally entitled “Welfare States, Closed Borders” for Oxford University Press.