Social Citizenship and Institution Building: EU-Enlargement and the Restructuring of Welfare States in East Central Europe
With the EU-enlargement process well underway, this paper focuses on social citizenship as a conceptual frame for analyzing the restructuring of social institutions in applicant countries in East Central Europe. So far, comparative welfare state analysis has concentrated mainly on the developed economies of the OECD-countries; there is little systematic analytical work on the transitions in post-communist Europe. Theoretically, this paper builds on comparative welfare state analysis as well as on new institutionalism. The initial hypothesis is built on the assumption that emerging patterns of social support and social security diverge from the typology described in the comparative welfare state literature inasmuch as the transformation of postcommunist societies is distinctly different from the building of welfare states in Europe. The paper argues that institutionbuilding is shaped by and embedded in the process of European integration and part of governance in the EU. Anticipating full membership in the European Union, the applicant countries have to adapt to the rules and regulations of the EU, including the "social acquis." Therefore, framing becomes an important feature of institutional changes. The paper seeks to identify distinct patterns and problems of the institutionalization of social citizenship.