Despite the extensive literature on values and welfare attitudes, the empirical analysis of the relationship between both concepts falls short systematic reviews. Most research captures only one side of the equation; employs umbrella concepts; or assumes a simplified relationship in order to explain welfare attitudes. The thesis challenges these perspectives from a theoretical and an empirical angle by explicitly restricting the attention to value attitude links.
The cross-disciplinary theoretical reflection on applications of the attitude concept in psychology, political science and sociology revealed similarities, differences and, in a historical account, the appearance of the recent divisions in the field. A main conclusion from the theoretical considerations was that multidisciplinary approaches are particularly fruitful in attitudinal research as intra-disciplinary research agendas often neglect the complexity of attitude formation. In the synthesis merge the theoretical reflections into a micro-macro framework containing alternate micro predictors such as political trust, political rationality and perceived material vulnerability. The macro context was set up to test for cross-sectional variation with two hypotheses in mind. Firstly, some authors postulate a deterministic understanding of the value attitude relationship depending on democratic development. Hence a rather homogeneous region like the EU should show great similarities across countries. Secondly, the clustering of countries along the popular welfare regime argument was tested.