Chapter 15: Austerity, populism and welfare retrenchment in Central and South Eastern Europe
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This chapter explores austerity and welfare retrenchment in Central and South Eastern Europe, with a selective focus on Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic together with parts of the post-Yugoslav space (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia), exploring the key drivers of welfare reforms during and after the 2007-8 economic and financial crisis. The chapter anchors austerity, taken as a systematic and deliberate form of welfare restructuring as a consequence of fiscal consolidation and debt reduction by the state, around four key nodes: rising populism, ethnicized nationalism, political authoritarianism and re-embedded neoliberalism.

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