“Socialists or cynics? Popular demand for income equality and state welfare provision in China and Russia.”

“Socialists or cynics? Popular demand for income equality and state welfare provision in China and Russia.”

Issued: Wed, 05 Apr 2017 17:03:00 BST

26 October 2017 at 4pm       Seminar
“Socialists or cynics? Popular demand for income equality and state welfare provision in China and Russia.”
Dr Neil Munro, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Location: Room 139, 29 Bute Gardens (Urban Studies Boardroom), University of Glasgow
 
Chinese and Russian public opinion differs in the level of demand for income equality and state welfare provision: Russians generally express more ‘left wing’ attitudes than Chinese. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of focus group discussions, this paper argues that this aspect of comparative public opinion holds up an inverted mirror to the dynamics of social welfare politics in the two countries, for two reasons. First, Russia is structurally 'stuck in transition' between a socialist welfare state and a neoliberal state, whereas China is moving, slowly and after its own fashion, in the opposite direction. Second, Russians to a far greater extent than Chinese have become infected with a complex of ‘social Darwinist’ attitudes which undermine the moral foundations for demanding equality and welfare.

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