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The transferability of welfare models between East and West


Manning, Nick P. (2003). The transferability of welfare models between East and West.. Hantrais, Linda (Ed.) (pp. 19-30).


This paper explores some of the classic questions that the collapse of state socialism has posed for the understanding of macro change in European societies, including how the societies of Central and Eastern Europe have diverged in their development since 1990, and why. In particular, it asks whether there has been diversity from a common origin, or path dependency from diverse origins, and analyses the models that are emerging in Eastern Europe. It examines the difficulty in determining whether such general comparisons hold right across a society, or even across its welfare system, and to what extent particular welfare areas affect the argument. Examples are drawn from case studies, panel surveys, omnibus survey, and the UNICEF monitoring project. Each approach is shown to have its strengths and weaknesses, but together they can offer a multi-method basis for identifying the main contours of welfare change, and the social issues with which they have to grapple. The pattern of change is analysed with reference to actor-network theory and policy networks across two welfare areas, pensions and healthcare, as they have developed in different countries. An alternative approach is suggested involving study of the extent to which changes are consistent across social groups, by looking at the interests of women and children as they have been affected by changing policies.

This paper examines welfare and welfare state change in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including Russia, since 1990, and considers the extent to which change arises from the adoption of models from western Europe and the international policy community. State socialist societies had a distinct and internally consistent approach to welfare issues, warranting the attribution of a particular type of welfare regime, which could be set alongside the better known types of western welfare states. In common with west European societies, social policy was dovetailed with labour policies, enabling adequate investment in the reproduction, maintenance and motivation of human capital for the economy, while social needs and problems were addressed sufficiently for political legitimacy to be retained for the most part.


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Manning, Nick P.