Practising what you preach: how cosmopolitanism promotes willingness to redistribute across the European Union

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Series Details Volume 25, Number 12, Pages 1759-1778
Publication Date December 2018
ISSN 1350-1763 (print) | 1466-4429 (online)
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The political fault lines surrounding the European sovereign debt crisis have underlined the political relevance and the fragile foundation of public support for international redistribution in the European Union. Against the backdrop of an emerging political integration-demarcation divide, this contribution examines how cosmopolitanism structures people’s willingness to redistribute internationally within the European Union.

To this aim, we conducted laboratory experiments on redistributive behaviour towards other European citizens in the United Kingdom and Germany and analysed cross-national survey data on support for international redistribution covering the EU-28. Our findings suggest that cosmopolitanism increases generosity towards other Europeans and support for international redistribution even when controlling for self-interest, support for national redistribution, concern for others and political ideology.

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