Westview Press in "Left Parties and Social Policy in Post-Communist Europe", Marilyn Rueschemeyer, Mitchell Ornstein, and Linda Cook, eds., page(s): 207-234
Beginning in 1993, left or communist successor parties have achieved electoral success in several postcommunist countries as critics of neo-liberal reform. They have focused their electoral appeals on the social costs of reform, promising greater public welfare and moderation of economic policies. The present volume examines the impact of these parties on social policy in Poland, Hungary, Russia, Eastern Germany, and the Czech Republic, asking: Do left parties commit greater resources to social policy, or are they constrained by finances, international pressures, or their own conversion to market ideology? Do they seek to promote a social-democratic model of the welfare state, or look to models that assign the state a more limited role? Are they acting opportunistically in appealing to popular grievances or effectively building a consensus around a policy agenda? Answers to these questions are used to address a broader theoretical concern: What does being "left" mean in the postcommunist context?