In the decades following the collapse of state socialism at the end of 1980s, disabled people in Central and Eastern Europe endured economic marginalisation, cultural devaluation and political disempowerment. Some of the mechanisms producing these injustices were inherited from state socialism, while others emerged with postsocialist neoliberalisation.
State socialism promised social security guaranteed by the public, and postsocialist neoliberalisation promised independent living underpinned by the market. This book argues that both promises failed as far as disabled people were concerned, drawing on a wide range of scholarly reports and analyses, policy documents, legislation, and historical accounts, as well as on disability studies and social justice theory. Besides differences, the book also illuminates continuities between state socialism and postsocialist capitalism, providing on this basis a more general and historically grounded critique of contemporary neoliberalisation and its impact on individual and collective life.
The book will appeal to anyone interested in disability studies and postsocialism, as well as social policy, social movements and critical theory. It will also be of interest to professionals involved in disability-related service provision, as well as to disability activists and policy makers.
Introduction. Key Terms
Chapter 1. Disability and Maldistribution
1.1State socialist legacy
Retrenchment of public support
Chapter 2. Disability and Misrecognition
2.1 State socialist legacy
2.2 Postsocialist neoliberalisation
Stigmatisation of public assistance
Overvaluation of self-sufficiency and responsibilisation
Chapter 3. Disability and Misrepresentation
3.1 State socialist legacy
3.2 Postsocialist neoliberalisation
Depoliticisation through service provision
Conclusion. Postsocialist Disability Matrix
4.1 The question of agency
Advocacy for the right to work
Advocacy for user-led personal assistance
4.2 Concluding remarks
Disability studies has made great strides in exploring power and the body. This series extends the interdisciplinary dialogue between disability studies and other fields by asking how disability studies can influence a particular field. It will show how a deep engagement with disability studies changes our understanding of the following fields: sociology, literary studies, gender studies, bioethics, social work, law, education, or history. This ground-breaking series identifies both the practical and theoretical implications of such an interdisciplinary dialogue and challenges people in disability studies as well as other disciplinary fields to critically reflect on their professional praxis in terms of theory, practice, and methods.
Series editor: Mark Sherry, The University of Toledo, USA