Rural anticipation towards welfare state in Czech Republic

https://doi.org/10.17221/5449-AGRICECONCitation:Kučerová E. (2003): Rural anticipation towards welfare state in Czech Republic. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 49: 564-570.
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Although empirical findings show the deterioration of living standards in post- communist countries in the 1990s, there are significant differences in the public opinion about the “welfare state” project in countries where more rigorous liberal reforms were implemented and countries with much slower progression towards the liberal model of capitalism. The Czech Republic with its economic development is still on the symbolic crossways to make a decision about how to approach the welfare state. There is a very actively discussed model of an “active approach” (non-state subjects) to social policy with a residual role of the state. The model should have a chance to a more effective implementation in (small) rural communities where social problems can be better identified and resolved. The questions to be asked are that of the potential of social policy actors to participate in the process and the attitudes and approaches to social policy models in rural communities. It should be asked how the opinion of actors can be evaluated in the process of making a new system of social policy which still remains a “reform from above“. The paper follows a preceding qualitative study of the author with a quantitative survey of public opinion on the participation and responsibility in social policy actors’ action and acceptance of the welfare state model based on the liberal model of capitalism. The first part provides a review of international studies on rural poverty in post- socialist states. The main part of paper presents results of a quantitative investigation in one Czech rural community where significant social problems of the welfare state project (unemployment, illness, education, age, living conditions) have been studied.
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