Political and Economic Determinants of Social Policy Evolution in Poland after 1989

Political and Economic Determinants of Social Policy Evolution in Poland after 1989

Lukasz Danel (Cracow University of Economics, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0097-1.ch025
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Abstract

The chapter provides an overview that describes social policy in Poland after the constitutional transformation that started in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. The author also provides a brief characteristic of those changes as well as the theoretical context of social policy models that were adopted in other European countries. What follows is an attempt to describe the economic and political determinants of the evolution of social policy in Poland with regard to the policy of subsequent Polish governments. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the desirable changes in Polish social policy and the potential redefinition of its priorities.
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System Transformation In Poland And The So-Called “Balcerowicz’S Plan”

Political and economic transformations at the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s forced the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to build a democratic system for the purpose of ensuring stable and democratic governments. Such system had to rely on the principles of sovereignty of nation, distribution of power, and state under the rule of law, as well as ensure functioning of unrestricted political pluralism. In other words, political transformation was related to the need of making radical system changes: from a socialist state relying on the key position of the communist party (monocratic system) to a democratic state, based on the principle of free election of state bodies (pluralist system) (Jaskiernia, 2010, p. 263).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Security: A government programme that provides assistance for those with an inadequate or no income.

Welfare State: A social system in which the state remains responsible for the welfare of its citizens.

Transformation: A process of radical or profound change that orients a given subject in a new direction and changes its level of effectiveness.

Inequality: Lack of equality, as of status, opportunity or treatment.

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