Transforming Post-communist Countries’ Welfare System: The Role of the State and the Civil Society Cover Image
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Transforming Post-communist Countries’ Welfare System: The Role of the State and the Civil Society
Transforming Post-communist Countries’ Welfare System: The Role of the State and the Civil Society

Author(s): Elka Todorova
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институтът по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: The state and the civil society; welfare institutions in Central and Eastern Europe; institutions in the transition countries; NGO; communitarianism and the informal networks

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this paper is to point to the main group of questions which could help to develop the notion of the interrelated roles of the state and civil society in building new welfare institutions in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The assessment of the economic reforms and the transformation of the social institutions is approached by analysis of the state’s and civil society’s role in the process of transition. Important differences between countries in CEE are revealed such as the type of economic reforms and level of development of social institutions as main explanatory mechanisms why certain elements of the civil society are more difficult to establish in some countries than in others. The danger of underestimating the importance of the state in the development of social services in post-communist countries goes hand in hand with the vague and unclear vision of the shape of civil society and its objectives. Its greatly diminished legitimacy, lack of resources and the exclusive support for non-governmental structures cause the undervaluing of the state’s role in their formal existence as NGOs. The state and organizations of civil society need to form an interactive and complementary relationship in the aim to enhance welfare. It is argued that communitarianism and investments in informal networks are two ways to strengthen the social capital development in societies, which have strong communitarian traditions.

  • Issue Year: 34/2002
  • Issue No: Special
  • Page Range: 185-195
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English