Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor? Support for Social Citizenship Rights in the United States and Europe

Jennifer Oser, Marc Hooghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article investigates whether the commitment to social rights as integral to a well-functioning democracy exists among Americans in comparison with their European counterparts. In our comparison of data from the European Social Survey in 2012 with a special parallel module of the U.S. Cooperative Congressional Election Survey in 2014, the findings suggest that similar conceptions of ideal democracy are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Although Americans are less likely than Europeans to consider fighting poverty and reducing income inequality as important democratic ideals, the analysis shows that the United States is not exceptional in the existence of a social rights conception of democracy. A distinct feature of U.S. public opinion is that support for social rights is more strongly associated with a left-right divide than in Europe. The observed congruence between policy and public opinion in the United States highlights the importance of investigating the direction of causality between both phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-38
Number of pages25
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Cooperative Congressional Election Study
  • European Social Survey
  • T. H. Marshall
  • latent class analysis
  • market citizenship
  • political citizenship
  • social citizenship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor? Support for Social Citizenship Rights in the United States and Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this