Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: Postcommunist Welfare States

Issue Date October 2008
Volume 19
Issue 4
Page Numbers 80-94
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Democracy is one of several factors that have determined welfare state spending in the postcommunist countries since the transition, together with geography, history, economic conditions, and international influences. While the more developed, democratic, and Western countries of Central and Eastern Europe have maintained a high level of social protection comparable to the rest of the European Union, the states of the former Soviet Union and Southeastern Europe have experienced a partial disintegration of their social safety nets. Still, most postcommunist states spend a higher proportion of their national product on their welfare states than other developing countries.

About the Author

Mitchell A. Orenstein is S. Richard Hirsch Associate Professor of European Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

View all work by Mitchell A. Orenstein