Welfare states are the product of economic, political and social interactions, and undergo changes as these interactions transform. Existing welfare state theories mainly tend to explain the emergence and development of the welfare state in the western, industrialized and capitalist world. While the states of Central and Eastern Europe have recently been integrated in the academic discourse, the countries of the former Yugoslavia have been predominantly excluded from comparative analysis. Issues of nationalism and ethnic polarization have been prevalent there while socio-economic issues have been put on the back burner. This book explores what happened to the strong social states and relatively equal societies which existed in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, and looks into what accounts for these diverse outcomes. By investigating the applicability of the theories on welfare state development and typologization, it fills in the gap in the welfare state literature. It offers an original typology of social citizenship that takes into account the diversity of welfare policy formations across the region. The aim of this typology is not to compete with existing ones, but rather to offer a framework for better understanding of states that do not necessarily fit into known explanatory categories. In a global context of changing economic circumstances and contending political responses, macroeconomic policy and welfare state reform become order of the day. By featuring the ways that states adjust to new pressures, this book’s arguments may come in handy to those trying to make sense of the crisis and the powers that drive the policy solutions.
’Stambolieva combines comparative welfare state analysis with an actor-centred approach. She explains how national elites, social groups and global players shape policy choices in the context of a common socialist legacy but in variable transition processes leading to quite different contemporary social policy approaches in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. It is a fine contribution to the genre.’ -Bob Deacon, Universities of Sheffield and York, UK
'Perhaps because Marija Stambolieva represents a new generation of serious scholars from the region itself, she knows what really matters to its people; focusing on welfare instead of war and ethnic conflict, she not only contributes an empirically rich, deeply knowledgeable, and beautifully written study to the literature on welfare systems in general from cases of post-socialist transition, but also a rare window onto actual politics in Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia.’ -Susan L. Woodward, City University of New York, USA
Introduction; Historical legacies: main political and economic processes and the development of the Yugoslav welfare system; Slovenia; Croatia; Serbia; Macedonia; Conclusion: from social to unequal; References; Appendix