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Welfare State Retrenchment in Central and Eastern Europe: The Case of Pension Reforms in Poland and Slovenia  [PDF]
Igor Guardiancich
Managing Global Transitions , 2004,
Abstract: This paper endeavours to shed some light on the mechanisms that led to the divergence of welfare state arrangements across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In particular, pension system reforms displayed a great deal of variance, which surprised both institutionalists and convergence theorists. The Polish and Slovenian cases are thus presented and compared in a political economy perspective. Theories of retrenchment, recent studies on the dynamics of CEE pension reforms and consultations with some of the relevant actors, were employed in order to account for the divergence of reform outcomes in the two countries. The study focused on three main explanations: partisan competition, the interaction between relevant external (World Bank) and internal actors (Minister of Labour and Minister of Finance) and the trade-off. between power concentration and accountability concentration. The latter yielded the best explanation. While Polish reformers managed to internalise most veto actors’ reservations, Slovenian politicians excluded from consultation the country’s main trade union. Its opposition determined the rejection of radical reforms recommended by the World Bank.
Welfare Regimes in Central and Eastern Europe: Incorporating Post-Communist Countries in a Welfare Regime Typology  [cached]
H J M Fenger
Contemporary Issues and Ideas in Social Sciences , 2007,
Abstract: This article uses hierarchical cluster analysis to empirically assess if the post-communist welfare states of Central and Eastern Europe can be classified according to any of Esping-Andersen's well-known welfare types, or if they form a distinct group of their own. It shows that at the start of the twenty-first century, there are clear differences in the governmental programmes and the social situation between traditional Western welfare states and post-communist welfare states. The article argues that the welfare states in post-communist countries might be subdivided into three groups: (1) a group of former-USSR countries, including Russia and Belarus; (2) a group of rather successful Central and Eastern European countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and (3) a group of developing welfare states, consisting of Romania, Moldova and Georgia.
From Warfare to Welfare. Postwar Homelessness, Dislocation, and the Birth of the Welfare State in Europe: The Case of Berlin 1945–1949
Clara M. Oberle
Hygiea Internationalis : an Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health , 2010,
Abstract: This article examines the origins of what for years has been characterized as a European welfare consensus. It asks whether, indeed, there was a convergence of ideas, and if so, what led to it. Based on public health records from governmental, municipal, and international agencies in immediate postwar Europe, but also on sources reflecting public opinion, Allied military government discourses and policies, urban planners, medical professionals, and others, it argues that indeed there was a period in European history which generated something of a postwar convergence of ideas regarding public health and welfare. The postwar period witnessed a remarkable consensus about the importance of public planning, spending, and state involvement in the health and welfare sector. By examining the case of Berlin as one immediate postwar city and situating it in the larger European context of the time, one can point to common motivations and even actors involved. The root of this consensus was not any optimistic humanitarian ideology, nor even only a concern about public health or the spread of epidemics, though the latter was prominent. Equally important, it grew out of a shared setting marked by physical destruction and political instability. As a result, concerns about governability, social order, and political legitimacy came to the forefront, even of health and housing debates. In the case of Berlin, the public health debate was driven furthermore by a fear of the return of National Socialism.
THE PERFORMANCE OF WELFARE SYSTEMS IN POSTCOMMUNIST EUROPE: THE CASES OF ROMANIA AND BULGARIA  [PDF]
Ileana Tache,Cristina Neesham
International Journal of Economics and Research , 2011,
Abstract: Understanding the welfare system and the sources of its performance has become a priority for social policy makers in Central and Eastern Europe. In contrast with the impressive literature on the economic transition from communism to capitalism in this part of Europe, the transformation of welfare and social policies after communism has remained largely unexplored. Moreover, while the research so far has focused mainly on theVisegrad states and the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Romania have attracted considerably less interest. Hence,important data and relevant studies on the latest EU members are still missing. This paper brings together key data available on the socio-economic performance of the two countries, with a view to acquiring an integrated understanding of the impact of various economic, social and political factors on the state of welfare provision in these countries. We identify here the specific features of the current social model that appears to operate inBulgaria and Romania, in the broader context of comparing CEE and older EU members along key socialwelfare indicators. We then discuss the political context and welfare system developments in the two countries in the period of transition. Following this background, we analyse social welfare performance in Bulgaria and Romania using thirteen relevant indicators. The study concludes with an emphasis on the urgent need for a strategic rethinking of the social model in the region. In this context, based on past performance, a move away from a liberal ‘minimalist’ welfare state model is recommended.
The beginnings of the "Cracow School of Art History" from Jerzy Malinowski (ed.), History of Art History in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (2012)  [PDF]
Stefan Muthesius
Journal of Art Historiography , 2012,
Abstract: Because Polish art history, that is, art history written by Polish scholars, has tended to be rather inward-looking as a whole, its first and most important school, that of Cracow, has not received the attention it deserves. The term ‘school’ is here used in a way akin to that of ‘Vienna School’. Cracow modern art history originated in the 1860s to 1880s in the small but culturally extremely vigorous capital of Austrian Poland, as a co-operation between the newly-founded art history section at the Academy of Sciences and the Department at the Jagiellonian University. It pursued two principal, interlinked aims: the investigation of Polish art and architecture and the use of new methods that were being developed in Western and Central Europe. What comes across most strongly is the constantly foregrounded ethos of scientific, empirical exactitude and the intense institutional togetherness. All are united in an absolute devotedness to their academic task. One of the results was the way in which recruitment has remained within the school until this day. It has to be remembered though that other Polish centres only started teaching the history of art after WW I. This article is a- preliminary attempt to characterise, firstly, some of the chief factors of institutionality and, secondly, some methodological aspects of the work of the two chief protagonists, W adys aw uszczkiewicz and Marian Soko owski.
I cinque giganti e la genesi del welfare state in Europa tra le due guerre / The Five “Giant Evils" and the Genesis of the Welfare State in Europe between the Two World Wars  [cached]
Andrea Rapini
Storicamente , 2012,
Abstract: The essay reconstructs the genesis of the welfare state during the early forties of the twentieth century. The welfare state is situated inside the European crisis caused by the Wall Street crash of 1929, by the fascisms and by the second world war. The essay focuses on the social policies of Fascism and Nazism, underlining their genetic connection with the war. The democracies decide to oppose the welfare state to warfare state of the fascisms to win not only the war, but, especially, to win the peace.
Understanding Eastern Europe
Ricardo D. Ferrer
Kasarinlan : Philippine Journal of Third World Studies , 1990,
Abstract: The problems confronted by Eastern European countries are hypothesized to be problems of social construction and not of socialism itself. Moreover, they are mistakes or weaknesses of an incorrect theory of socialist construction. This is based on their premature self-evaluation as socialist countries. None of these socialist countries have reached the utopian socialist state but they were broadly applying the laws appropriate to that state and it is this contradiction which has brought about the crisis in Eastern Europe. Thus, it is this study’s aim to demonstrate the feasibility of a proposed research framework on understanding the developments in Eastern Europe consisting of five steps in testing the above-mentioned hypothesis in principle. The socialist vision includes the abolition of inequality where, under this condition, equality becomes a reality. The problem with this vision is that it is utopian, even Marxists recoil from giving an explicit elaboration of the ultimate socialist vision. However, without abandoning the vision of a future society, socialism is made operational by a series of feasible structures of society. To avoid falling into this paradox, the process of construction must be consistent with the laws of social change. Only if each of the successive stages in the construction of post-capitalist society maximizes freedom, democracy and equality will the process of construction move progressively towards socialism. Until such time, Eastern Europe will tread the capitalist path.
Religion in Eastern Europe  [cached]
Michael S. Jones
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies , 2003,
Abstract: Religion in Eastern Europe, Paul Mojzes and Walter Sawatsky, eds.
Comparison and evaluation of modelled and GOME measurement derived tropospheric NO2 columns over Western and Eastern Europe
I. B. Konovalov, M. Beekmann, R. Vautard, J. P. Burrows, A. Richter, H. Nü ,N. Elansky
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) & Discussions (ACPD) , 2005,
Abstract: We present the results of a first comparison of the tropospheric NO2 column amounts derived from the measurements of the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) with the simulated data from a European scale chemistry transport model (CTM) which is distinct from existing global scale CTMs in higher horizontal resolution and more detailed description of the boundary layer processes and emissions. We employ, on the one hand, the newly developed extended version of the CHIMERE CTM, which covers both Western and Eastern Europe, and, on the other hand, the most recent version (Version 2) of GOME measurement based data-products, developed at the University of Bremen. We evaluate our model with the data from ground based monitoring of ozone and verify that it has a sufficiently high level of performance, which is expected for a state-of-the-art continental scale CTM. The major focus of the study is on a systematic statistical analysis and a comparison of spatial variability of the tropospheric NO2 columns simulated with CHIMERE and derived from GOME measurements. The analysis is performed separately for Western and Eastern Europe using the data for summer months of 1997 and 2001. In this way, we obtain useful information on the nature and magnitudes of uncertainties of spatial distributions of the considered data. Specifically, for Western Europe, it is found that the uncertainties of NO2 columns from GOME and CHIMERE are predominantly of the multiplicative character, and that the mean relative random (multiplicative) errors of the GOME measurement derived and simulated data averaged over the summer seasons considered do not exceed 23% and 32%, respectively. The mean absolute (additive) errors of both kinds of the data are estimated to be less than 3x1014mol/cm2. In Eastern Europe, the uncertainties have more complex character, and the separation between their multiplicative and additive parts is not sufficiently unambiguous. It is found, however, that the total random errors of NO2 columns from both GOME and CHIMERE over Eastern Europe are not, on the average, larger than the errors of the NO2 columns with similar magnitudes over Western Europe.
Comparison and evaluation of modelled and GOME measurement derived tropospheric NO2 columns over Western and Eastern Europe  [PDF]
I. B. Konovalov,M. Beekmann,R. Vautard,J. P. Burrows
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions , 2004,
Abstract: We present the results of a first comparison of the tropospheric NO2 column amounts derived from the measurements of the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) with the simulated data from a European scale chemistry transport model (CTM) which is distinctive from existing global scale CTMs in higher horizontal resolution and more detailed description of the boundary layer processes and emissions. We employ, on the one hand, the newly developed extended version of the CHIMERE CTM, which covers both Western and Eastern Europe, and, on the other hand, the most recent version (Version 2) of GOME measurement based data-products, developed at the University of Bremen. We evaluate our model with the data of ground based monitoring of ozone and verify that it has a sufficiently high level of performance, which is expected for a state-of-the-art continental scale CTM. The major focus of the study is on a systematic statistical analysis and a comparison of spatial variability of the tropospheric NO2 columns simulated with CHIMERE and derived from GOME measurements. The analysis is performed separately for Western and Eastern Europe using the data for summer months of 1997 and 2001. In this way, we evaluate the upper limits to uncertainties of spatial distributions of the considered data. Specifically, for Western Europe, it is found that the mean relative (multiplicative) random errors of the GOME measurement derived and simulated data averaged over the summer seasons considered do not exceed 25% and 35%, respectively, and the mean absolute (additive) errors are less than 3·1014 mol/cm2. The upper limits for the multiplicative errors for Eastern Europe are shown to be smaller than those for Western Europe and do not exceed 15% and 24% for NO2 columns from GOME and CHIMERE, respectively. The relative contribution of the additive errors is found to be much larger for Eastern Europe, but their mean absolute values are less than 2·1014 mol/cm2.
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