Social Safety Nets, the Informal Economy and Housing Poverty – Experiences in Transitional Countries

Hegedüs, József (2011) Social Safety Nets, the Informal Economy and Housing Poverty – Experiences in Transitional Countries. European Journal of Homelessness, 5 (1). pp. 15-26. ISSN 2030-2762


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The social and economic conflicts that emerged during the transi - tion periods of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries forced govern - ments to introduce changes to welfare systems. As the old soviet-type social safety net collapsed, new measures were needed to manage the challenges of transition. The question thus arises: what kind of welfare regimes have transitional countries moved towards, and is there a new model that combines elements of modern European welfare regimes with the ‘socialist tradition’? There is no agreement among researchers as to whether it is possible to draw general conclusions on the development of welfare systems in transitional countries; the problem remains that reforms in the public sector (education, health care etc.) are unfinished, that institutions in different welfare sectors follow different principles even within one country, and that there is a big gap between rhetoric and the actual implementation of programmes. Most of the research is non-conclusive and there are too many inconsistencies in the different policy areas to allow the identification of a single welfare regime category. In this paper, housing policy in CEE countries is explored. The research approach is based on the ‘soft structuralist’ method, combining structural elements and a ‘rational choice’ (policy or agency choice) approach – a kind of contextualized rational choice theory. It is used in this paper to explain the nature and scale of emerging housing poverty. The paper is based on the analysis of changes in the Hungarian housing system, but examples from other regions are also used to support the arguments.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > HM Sociology / társadalomkutatás
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2016 09:59
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 12:35

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