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 3: Welfare systems in comparison – a theoretical framework

Kati Kuitto

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


This chapter develops a theoretical framework for a comparative classificatory analysis of the emerging welfare model of the CEE countries in the European context. Based on a discussion of the main contemporary typologies of welfare states and their limits, a novel multi-dimensional framework for analysing welfare policy patterns consisting of organizational principles of welfare provision, policy emphasis and decommodifying potential is proposed. Furthermore, the chapter discusses whether contemporary welfare states (still) coincide with the ideal-typical welfare regimes as they have been postulated by the mainstream typologization approaches. Subsequently, the question of whether ideal-types or rather the real-world models of welfare are suitable as a frame of reference is explored. The chapter closes by developing hypotheses about the expected outcomes with regard to the emerging welfare models in the CEE countries

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