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Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe$
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Marion Ellison

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427274

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427274.001.0001

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Social solidarity in post-socialist countries

Social solidarity in post-socialist countries

(p.157) Ten Social solidarity in post-socialist countries
Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe

Damir Josipovič

Policy Press

This chapter argues that recent socio-economic transitions have led to the erosion of solidarity in post-socialist countries, where economic imperatives of capitalism have pressed governments to relinquish previous legal provisions, particularly in relation to local labour markets. Five types of accommodation to this kind of transgression are distinguishable: the first type is represented in The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and is characterized by the privatization of key economic ‘stilts’ and by governments relinquishing responsibility for social provisions in the early 1990s. The second type emerged in Poland, where the Catholic Church seized the exclusivity over solidarity perceptions through the concordat; and the third type is characteristic for Romania and Bulgaria, where extensive black market activity, especially along the borders, characterized most of the 1990s. The fourth group within the Baltic States is somewhat similar to the so-called Vizegrad group, although it differs by an uneven settlement pattern and huge Russian minority, with scarce rights crucially representing an unmet transnational solidarity connecting with Russian minorities across the Baltic States and further to Russia. The fifth group is represented by Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. All of them have developed similar informal strategies of solidarity.

Keywords:   solidarity, socio-economic transitions, post-socialist countries, labour markets

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