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Abstract

The last few years have witnessed truly extraordinary events in the formerly communist societies. These countries were characterized by the great importance attached to social policy as opposed to market economy countries with a similar level of economic growth. However, the transition process toward a market economy has set new conditions for the functioning of governing levels and companies, which has affected social policies altogether. On the one hand, economic liberalization has brought about a reduction of the Russian Government's intervention in the economy, particularly in social policy. On the other hand, the privatization of the state company in a post-communist society would have implied a new way of economic management based on the principal of competition, in direct opposition to the nature of communist companies. Consequently, such a view of the reforms suggests a social policy of a lower magnitude. However, the difficulties of the transitions now underway in the countries that are emerging from communism (which is increasing claims for social protection) together with the deep-rooted nature of the social securities inherited from the communist period, is putting this new approach of a minimal social policy into question.

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