Introduction: The Failure and Future of the Welfare State in Post-socialism

Jeremy Morris, Abel Polese, Borbala Kovacs

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Debates on the post-socialist welfare state evolved in two main directions. While some scholars have maintained that they would eventually converge with Western European patterns, some others have pointed at the need of a more ‘particularist’ approach, seeking to demonstrate that post-socialist states might follow a different and non-traditional path, individually or as a region in terms of welfare provision. Our current work is an attempt to contribute to the debate on the direction of post-socialist welfare state adaptation by engaging with corruption and welfare state/public sector failure in post-socialist spaces. In particular, emphasis is put on the tactics and strategies used by public workers and citizens to cope with incomplete and inadequate public social welfare provision. Rooted in different disciplinary schools, and making use of diverse methodological and theoretical approaches, the papers of this special issue provide further evidence to rechart the relationship between the public welfare sector, citizens and the current economic transition, a commonality that allows us to point at alternatives to the capitalist model that for some time has been seen as the only option. In line with our previous works, in this special issue we explore the possibility that informality and formality are complementary or that informality may ‘replace’ formal processes and structures. In other words, where the welfare state does not penetrate, welfare might be spread also through informal channels and it might redefine the very dynamics underpinning of a society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Eurasian Studies
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Corruption; Informality; Informal Sector; Eastern Europe; Former Soviet Union; Social Policy; Social Welfare


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