Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Elias Naumann
Introduction: Analysing Organized Interests and Public Opinion Towards Welfare Reforms

Pp. 1-23 in: Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Elias Naumann (Eds.): Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below: Comparing Public Attitudes and Organized Interests in Britain and Germany. 2018. London: Palgrave Macmillan

The status quo defence of organized interests and the reform unwillingness of public opinion are seen as the main reasons why welfare states persist. Building upon these two perspectives, this introduction develops an analytical approach to systematically study the role of organized interests and public opinion in the political economy of welfare state reform. It covers three important social policy areas (pension, healthcare, and labour market policies) and briefly maps the main institutional differences between our two country cases, Britain and Germany. Finally, it discusses the method mix applied in the nine empirical studies collected in this volume: ranging from qualitative to quantitative, from interview to text analysis, from cross-sectional micro-level data to survey experiments using online panels.