Public Attitudes towards Social Policy: the Role of State, Individual and Family in Social Provision and Welfare in Lithuania
Keywords:social policy, welfare, social provision, state, individual, family, community
AbstractThis article discusses increasingly heterogeneous nature of social policy in contemporary societies, focusing on the analysis of public attitudes towards the role of state, individual and family in the social provision. Existing literature does not present one answer what institutions should have a central role in creating social welfare as liberal and Marxist theories have different answers about the role of the state in social provision. Lithuania was selected as a case for analysis because it is interesting as a post-soviet country. In this context, the question is whether people still have big expectations for the state’s role in social provision (as in soviet times) or are prepared to take responsibility themselves. The paper is based on the results of two interrelated projects: the research project ‘International Social Survey Programme: Monitoring of Lithuanian social problems (ISSP-LT)’ and the research project ‘Monitoring of social problems: implementation of International Social Survey Program (ISSP)’. The paper presents empirical results of two representative public opinion surveys. The results of empirical studies reveal that people still have big expectations for the role of the state in social provision and welfare. The state should be mainly responsible for the provision in situations of old age, unemployment, illness, and durable physical or mental handicap.
 The paper is partly based upon results of research project ‘International Social Survey Programme: Monitoring of Lithuanian social problems (ISSP-LT)’, funded by a grant from the Research Council of Lithuania (No. SIN-7/2012). The project is being implemented in the period of 2012-2013. The goal of this project is to continue the long-term monitoring of social problems by implementing the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in Lithuania. The project analyses the attitudes and experiences of Lithuanian population in the following thematic areas: ‘Social Policy’, ‘Family, Work and Gender Roles’, ‘National Identity’ and ‘Virtual Social Networks’.
 The paper is partly based upon empirical results of research project ‘Monitoring of social problems: implementation of International Social Survey Program (ISSP)’, funded by a grant from the Research Council of Lithuania (No. SIN-15/2010). The project has been implemented in the period of 2010-2011. The goal of the project was to establish a system for monitoring social problems in Lithuania and to implement international comparative analysis of social problems using the methodology of the International Social Survey Programme.