The two Decades of Social Policy in Poland: From Protection to Activation of Citizens

Marek Rymsza

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

The two Decades of Social Policy in Poland: From Protection to Activation of Citizens

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The chapter analyzes social policy in Poland in a time of transition from communism to democracy, a complex process that consists of reforms of three spheres: political, market, and social. Simultaneously, Poland is facing challenges similarly to the “mature” European welfare states, and the Polish transition may be seen as a part of reshaping the European social model. Three waves of social reforms are analyzed with attention put on social citizenship. Although the general course of transition is to develop citizens’ rights, in the social sphere the tendency is opposite. The communist regime disturbed Marshall’s scenario of developing citizenship as a sequence from civil rights to political rights to social rights. It guaranteed social entitlements as a substitute of a lack of civil and political rights. Current social cuts are forced as a way of restoring freedom rights, so that Poland promotes an active social citizenship while “passive” social entitlements are still reduced.

Keywords: citizenship; social rights; welfare state; activation; transition

Chapter.  13825 words. 

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