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date: 03 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In looking at the broader socio-economic and employment relations systems in the post-state socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Martin Myant argues that previously very similar systems have in many respects diverged, and that raises questions as to whether they can still be lumped together into a single analytical category. Some common features include the wide role of informal practices, and specific legal traditions; key differences emerge in relative will and capabilities for law enforcement, and the role of actors in propping up the system. Although there is generally more respect for the law than in the immediate period following transitions, in many countries, employers are now experimenting with legal mechanisms to promote individualization, including the conversion of employees to independent contractors. However, where collective bargaining is deeply entrenched, there has been a tendency towards the further institutionalization of collectivism. Finally, politics matters, and during periods of right-wing rule, even in countries such as Slovenia, greater liberalization has been promoted.

Keywords: emerging market economies, institutionalization, trade unions, systemic change

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