Handbook of Family Policy
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Handbook of Family Policy

Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The Handbook of Family Policy examines how state and workplace policies support parents and their children in developing, earning and caring. With original contributions from 44 leading scholars, this Handbook provides readers with up-to-date knowledge on family policies and family policy research, taking stock of current literature as well as providing analyses of present-day policies, and where they should head in the future.
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Chapter 17: Family policies and social inequalities in Central and Eastern Europe: a comparative analysis of Hungary, Poland and Romania between 2005 and 2015

Cristina Raț and Dorottya Szikra


In this chapter Raț and Szikra aim to contribute to the growing literature on family policy transformations by scrutinizing three less-studied post-communist countries marked by considerable inequalities. At the time of their accession to the European Union, Hungary, Poland and Romania revealed different models of ‘familialism’, largely rooted in their divergent historical development, despite some similarities induced by the communist regime. During the last decade, however, the main domains of family policies have known both continuities and changes, some of them potentially path shifting. In this regard, the evolution of family policy spending structure and selective outcomes such as the employment of mothers and child poverty reduction are explained in the light of developments in national family policy regulations and predominant discourses about ‘the family’ and ‘the nation’. The results indicate that family policy transformations have mostly favoured the middle class, while the effectiveness of combating child poverty has fluctuated over time.

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