Special Issue "Redistributive Justice: The Link between Public Policies and Preferences"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonio M. Jaime-Castillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science and Public Administration, National Distance Education University, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: comparative politics; political economy; welfare state; quantitative methods
Prof. Dr. Inés Calzada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology: Methods and Theory, Complutense University of Madrid, 28223 Madrid, Spain
Interests: public opinion; comparative public policies; welfare states; methodology; surveys

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The politics of welfare state reform have become the centre of the political debate in many countries in the wake of the great recession. At the same time, scholarship on the preferences for redistributive justice has shown that public support for welfare policies remains stable and strong in Western democracies. Although our understanding of citizens’ opinions toward redistribution has grown substantially in recent decades, it is still unclear how changes in public policies can affect redistributive preferences at the individual level. What are the specific mechanisms linking policy changes and support for redistributive principles? Do changes in the economic and political context reduce/increase support for specific welfare programs? Are traditional variables, such as social class and labour market position, still valid to explain preferences for redistribution? Do new cleavages emerge?

This Special Issue will address the link between changes in public policies and public preferences toward redistribution and specific welfare policies. We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions. Theoretical works are expected to deal with the institutional or structural factors that shape the link between changes in public policies and changes in public opinion, but also with the psychological aspects of preference formation. Empirical works using either quantitative or qualitative approaches that focus on public preferences in any field of the welfare policies can be submitted. Both case studies and comparative studies analyzing the effects of contextual variables are of great interest. In addition, we are especially interested in the studies using experimental methodologies that focus on the preference of formation and causal mechanisms.

Prof. Dr. Antonio M. Jaime-Castillo
Prof. Dr. Inés Calzada
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as conceptual papers are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • redistribution
  • welfare policies
  • public opinion
  • redistributive principles
  • political preferences
  • experimental methods
  • surveys
  • comparative studies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Redistribution Preferences, Inequality Information, and Partisan Motivated Reasoning in the United States
Societies 2021, 11(2), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020065 - 21 Jun 2021
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In an era of rising inequality, the U.S. public’s relatively modest support for redistributive policies has been a puzzle for scholars. Deepening the paradox is recent evidence that presenting information about inequality increases subjects’ support for redistributive policies by only a small amount. [...] Read more.
In an era of rising inequality, the U.S. public’s relatively modest support for redistributive policies has been a puzzle for scholars. Deepening the paradox is recent evidence that presenting information about inequality increases subjects’ support for redistributive policies by only a small amount. What explains inequality information’s limited effects? We extend partisan motivated reasoning scholarship to investigate whether political party identification confounds individuals’ processing of inequality information. Our study considers a much larger number of redistribution preference measures (12) than past scholarship. We offer a second novelty by bringing the dimension of historical time into hypothesis testing. Analyzing high-quality data from four American National Election Studies surveys, we find new evidence that partisanship confounds the interrelationship of inequality information and redistribution preferences. Further, our analyses find the effects of partisanship on redistribution preferences grew in magnitude from 2004 through 2016. We discuss implications for scholarship on information, motivated reasoning, and attitudes towards redistribution. Full article
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