Advertisement

The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the Western Balkans

Chapter
Part of the Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion and Well-Being book series (EIAP, volume 8)

Abstract

Although most Western Balkan states began their economic transition from similar initial conditions as sub-national units within the former Yugoslavia, they have subsequently developed their welfare systems in quite different directions. In contrast, Albania started its transition from a diametrically opposed position as a highly centralised command economy. In developing new post-communist welfare states, the circumstances of transition and post-conflict reconstruction have led to varied welfare regimes based on a mix of legacies of the past, domestic policy choices and institutional borrowings from experiences in other countries. This chapter builds on the literature on the political economy of transition which identifies reform resistance from both losers and winners from transition and on the literature on different “worlds of welfare”, to identify the driving forces behind the different patterns of welfare provision which have emerged in the Western Balkans. Understanding the drivers of welfare state reform and the sources of reform resistance can inform realistic strategies to improve the effectiveness of social protection policies. This chapter develops these ideas using data gathered from documentary sources and recent field research carried out by the author involving interviews with policymakers and practitioners in all the Western Balkan countries, covering different aspects of welfare including social assistance, pensions and health service reforms.

Keywords

Welfare State Welfare System Social Assistance Welfare Regime Social Spending 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aidukaite, J. (2009) Old welfare state theories and new welfare regimes in Eastern Europe: Challenges and implications, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 42(1): 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aidukaite, J. (2011) Welfare reforms and socio-economic trends in the 10 new EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 44(3): 211–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arandarenko, M. (2003) The Development of Social Policy in Serbia and Montenegro, SCEPP AIA Report, No. 6.Google Scholar
  4. Bartlett, W., & Xhumari, M. (2007) Social security policy and pension reforms in the Western Balkans, European Journal of Social Security, 9(4): 297–322.Google Scholar
  5. CEDB (2004) Housing in South East Europe: Solving a Puzzle of Changes, Paris: Council of Europe Development Bank.Google Scholar
  6. Deacon, B. and Stubbs, P. (eds.) (2007) Social Policy and international Interventions in South East Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hacker, B. (2009) Hybridization instead of Clustering: Transformation Processes of Welfare Policies in Central and Eastern Europe, Social Policy & Administration, 43(2): 152–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hellman, J. (1998) “Winners take all: the politics of partial reform in post-communist transition”, World Politics, 50(2): 203–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Korpi, W. (1983) The Democratic Class Struggle, London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kramer, M. (1997) “Social protection policies and safety nets in East-Central Europe: dilemmas of the post-communist transformation”, in: E. B. Kapstein and M. Mandelbaum (eds.) Sustaining the Transition: The Social Safety Net in Postcommunist Europe, New York: The Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 46–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lazarevic, V. and D. Donev (2012) The public hospital system in the Republic of Macedonia: the heritage of the socialist mentality, in: W. Bartlett, J. Bozikov and B. Rechel (eds.) Health Reforms in South East Europe, London: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  13. Petrovic, M. (2001) Post-socialist housing policy transformation in Yugoslavia and Belgrade, European Journal of Housing Policy, 1(2): 211–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Posarac, A. (1993) Social Transfers in the Former Yugoslavia, 1978–1989, Socialist Economies Reform Unit Research Paper Series Paper Number 5, Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  15. Quadagno, J. (1987) Theories of the welfare state, Annual Review of Sociology, 13(1): 109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Roland, G. (2000) Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets and Firms, Cambridge MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Simic, S., M. S. Milicevic, et al. (2010) Do we have primary health care reform? The story of the Republic of Serbia, Health Policy 96(2): 160–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. UNECE (2002) Country Profiles of the Housing Sector – Albania, Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.Google Scholar
  19. Vaughan, E. J. (1965) Social insurance in Yugoslavia, The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 32(3): 385–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. World Bank (2007) Albania: Urban Growth, Migration and Poverty Reduction, Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  21. World Bank (2009a) Protecting the Poor during the Global Crisis: 2009 BiH Poverty Update, Report No. 51847, Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  22. World Bank (2009b) Social Protection Responses to the Global Economic Crisis in ECA, Knowledge Brief, March 2009, Volume 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

Personalised recommendations