Post-Communist Welfare States in European Context

Post-Communist Welfare States in European Context

Patterns of Welfare Policies in Central and Eastern Europe

Kati Kuitto

This is the first book providing a comprehensive and systematic empirical assessment of the post-communist welfare states in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of their Western European counterparts. Based on the classical typologies of welfare regimes, the study systematically compares 26 European welfare states across three empirical dimensions. This way, the book sheds light on the hybrid patterns of welfare policies in post-communist countries, as they have emerged after the period of transformation, and discusses their future challenges.

Chapter 2: Welfare state development in the post-communist transition

Kati Kuitto

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, welfare states


This chapter discusses the transitional circumstances and the main trajectories of welfare policy transformation in the post-communist countries. This context widely determines the range of possible and expected outcomes in terms of emerging welfare models. First, the common starting point is outlined in an overview of the institutional legacy of the socialist welfare systems prior to 1989/90. Second, the economic, political and societal setting within which the transformation of welfare states in Central and Eastern Europe has taken place is described. The transitional setting as well as international impacts have posed manifold constrains and incentives for domestic welfare policy-making. The main trajectories of institutional reforms since 1989/1990 are subsequently discussed in light of these constrains and incentives.

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