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Social Policies and Structures Under Transition: Cohesion and Tensions

  • Jiří Večerník

The article tries to demonstrate important links between social structure and social policies. The post-communist state interferes more than other governments into social structure and supports strong actors. This hinders expansion of the main actor of a successful transition - the middle class. Its stagnation or adverse development causes that the social structure (disintegrated, polarized and unstable) implicitly becomes the main social problem itself which generates other "minor" problems. The middle-class perspective frames many tensions and there can be exhibited four of them: between pensioners and economically active; between working and non-working poor; between the middle class and other groups and between the entrepreneurial and white-collar middle class. Social cohesion cannot be reached by redistribution only. Redistribution must remain within restricted limits in order not to hinder social change by distorting individual motivation and personal effort. The delineation of such limits should also involve consideration of the social structure.

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File URL: http://www.vse.cz/polek/download.php?jnl=pep&pdf=244.pdf
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File URL: http://www.vse.cz/pep/244
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Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Prague Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 2004 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 310-322

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Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2004:y:2004:i:4:id:244:p:310-322
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  1. Chiara Bronchi & Andrew Burns, 2000. "The Tax System in the Czech Republic," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 245, OECD Publishing.
  2. Martin Lux, 2003. "Efficiency and effectiveness of housing policies in the Central and Eastern Europe countries," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 243-265.
  3. Easterly, William, 2000. "the middle class consensus and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2346, The World Bank.
  4. Orenstein, Mitchell A., 2000. "How politics and institutions affect pension reform in three post-communist countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2310, The World Bank.
  5. Martin Lux, 2003. "Efficiency and effectiveness of housing policies in the Central and Eastern Europe countries," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 243-265, December.
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