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Social Policies and Structures Under Transition: Cohesion and Tensions

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  • Jiří Večerník

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiří Večerník, 2004. "Social Policies and Structures Under Transition: Cohesion and Tensions," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2004(4), pages 310-322.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2004:y:2004:i:4:id:244:p:310-322
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Chiara Bronchi & Andrew Burns, 2001. "The Tax System in the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 51(12), pages 618-638, December.
    3. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-335, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transition; Czech Republic; social policy; social structure;

    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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