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Neo-liberalism by Decay?: The Evolution of the Czech Welfare State
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
2009 (English)In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515, Vol. 43, no 2, 186-203 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we analyse the evolution of the Czech welfare state and we examine the factors explaining its path. We show that although the Czech welfare regime exhibits a 'mixed profile' that includes conservative and universalist elements, it is increasingly moving in a more liberal, residualist direction - not because of conscious steps but rather through decay. Governments have often zig-zagged in their policies and resorted to symbolic reforms at times rather than implementing ideologically based, consistent policies. We argue that historical and sociological institutionalism combined with a social-capital approach can explain this decay better than the more common arguments about economic pressures combined with ideological hegemony or the protest-avoidance strategy. In particular, the social capital approach adds to our institutional framework by explaining why cutbacks in welfare programmes have not met much opposition, even though public opinion surveys consistently show support for more generous welfare policies, and why policies have deviated so much from political rhetoric.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 43, no 2, 186-203 p.
Keyword [en]
Welfare state evolution, Social capital, Historical institutionalism, Sociological institutionalism, Neo-liberalism, Czech Republic
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-9352DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2009.00655.xISI: 000264087100007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-62749151021OAI: diva2:425408
Available from: 2011-06-21 Created: 2011-06-21 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved

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