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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes the trajectories of welfare state change, and the agents of reform, the extent of transformation, and the typology of the region's contemporary welfare regimes. The communist welfare state model is briefly presented as a common starting point and source of persistent legacies, both institutional and normative. Debates over the agents and the depth of post-communist transformation are covered next. The institutions and performance of contemporary Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) welfare states are then compared with both the more comprehensive and generous European welfare states and the more deeply retrenched and residualized cases of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Finally, it addresses the divergent conclusions of scholars who seek to ‘fit’ the CEE regimes into established, Eurocentric welfare ‘worlds’ and ‘families’, and those who compare the regions' welfare states with a broader range of middle-income countries. Attention is given on how gender maps onto post-communist welfare regimes.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union, European welfare states, reform, post-communist transformation, contemporary welfare regimes

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