Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe : the emergence of a new European Model of solidarity?

Cerami, Alfio

The successful completion of political, institutional and social transformation, which accompanies the new democracies of East Central Europe, urgently requires the establishment and consolidation of new forms of social security, called to ensure the sustainability and durability of reforms. By explaining the path of extrication from state socialism, this study aims to: a) compare different social policy theories and to elaborate new ones; b) identify the patterns of the welfare state's transformation in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia, at the national and EU level; c) investigate the attitudes towards social inequality in the European region; and d) explore the impact of social transfers in seven Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia). This research also aims to highlight the factors responsible for institutional change and democratic consolidation and to identify the prospects for the successful implementation of future welfare state reforms. This investigation identifies the emergence of a peculiar Eastern European model of solidarity coming from the fusion of pre-communist (Bismarck social insurance), communist (universalism, corporatism and egalitarianism) and post-communist features (market-based schemes), and maintained together by a strong support for redistributive policies. Finally, this book examines the challenges that modern welfare states are facing, such as the acceptance of a new welfare consensus, globalization and the Europeanization of national social policies. It concludes by reflecting on how Eastern welfare states will fit in the future EU welfare regime.



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