Fragmented Social Rights in Hungary’s Postcommunist Welfare State

Julia Szalaï

in Social Policy and Citizenship

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199754045
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979455 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Fragmented Social Rights in Hungary’s Postcommunist Welfare State

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Examining the case of Hungry since the 1990s brings forth a number of important puzzles. How far do the negative developments follow from the peculiarities of postcommunist transformation? Are symptoms of bifurcation just transient byproducts that will fade away upon the completion of the necessary economic adjustment of the country? Or do they signal a new establishment in the making that takes weak integration into the market and the accompanying fault lines of the social structure as enduring socioeconomic realities? The chapter suggests that, despite important differences among the postcommunist societies, their historically informed common characteristics delineate the scope of maneuvering in a rather consistent way. Hence, the Hungarian example can be considered as a model to address the still-open question: Do postcommunist developments in the region point toward the evolution of one of the classical types of Western welfare states, or does their contemporary development signal a lasting “postcommunist” formation in the making?

Keywords: postcommunist welfare state; social rights; social exlusion; roma; Hungary

Chapter.  10490 words. 

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