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Diversity and change in pre-accession Central and Eastern Europe since 1989


Manning, Nick P. (2004). Diversity and change in pre-accession Central and Eastern Europe since 1989. Journal of European Social Policy, 14(3), 211-232.


In 2004 eight Central and East European countries are joining the EU. This article explores the changes that have overtaken those countries since the 1989 transition from communism. It begins with a note on the alternative sources of data that might be used, and the difficulties of arriving at a summary of the nature of social policy development and the social conditions that have evolved in the countries. It then presents an analysis of the broad changes across the whole region, now comprising 27 countries, the common phases of change they have shared, and the way that they have diversified into some countries that are already close to the circumstances of existing EU members and some which are in a desperately disintegrated state. The main part of the article presents data on public expenditure, social policies, and social conditions that can be found in the eight new members, and discerns the common and divergent patterns of change that can be found. In the conclusion, issues of path dependency, diversity, and Europeanization are considered. The prospects for the eight new EU members are summarized, and a judgement is made that there are grounds for optimism in their future capacity to sustain social solidarity through social protection and support.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of European Social Policy


Manning, Nick P.