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The political and social construction of povertyCentral and Eastern European countries in transition$
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Serena Romano

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312710

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312710.001.0001

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Social policy in Central Eastern Europe

Social policy in Central Eastern Europe

(p.3) ONE Social policy in Central Eastern Europe
The political and social construction of poverty

Serena Romano

Policy Press

Chapter one serves as an introduction to understanding the main analytical categories of the present study. We are going to discuss post-communism as a concept and an attempt will be made to answer the following question: is there a common post-communist model of welfare state? Then the way in which social policies and anti-poverty measures change over time according to normative, distributive, functional and institutional dynamics of reconfiguration will be examined. After this the main topic of the book will be addressed: the social and political construction of poverty and the main “tools” used to define the functions and the priorities assigned to those programmes: targeting, measurement, and, of course, boundaries separating deserving and undeserving poor people. It will be shown that anti-poverty programmes are never “neutral”, but always subject to the ethical, cultural and political frameworks that are used to decide and legitimise who is going to be regarded as deserving of social protection.

Keywords:   communism, welfare regime, welfare reconfiguration, deserving poor, targeting

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