This book traces and analyzes the legislation and implementation of pension reforms in four Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries: Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. By comparing the political economy of their policymaking processes, it seeks to pinpoint regularities between institutional settings, actor constellations, decision-making strategies and reform.
Guardiancich employs a historical institutionalist framework to analyze the policies, actors and institutions that characterized the period between the collapse of socialism and the global financial crisis of 2008-2011. He argues that viable pension reforms should not be seen simply as an event, but rather as a continuing process that must be fiscally, socially and politically sustainable. In particular, the primary goal of a pension scheme is to reduce poverty, provide adequate retirement income and insure against the risks of old age within given fiscal constraints, and this will happen only if the scheme enjoys continuing political support at all levels. To this end the author individuates those institutional characteristics of countries that increase the consistency of reforms and lower the likelihood of policy reversals in time.
Pension Reforms in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, political economy, social policy and economics.
1. Introduction 2. Studying Pensions in Post-Socialist Countries: A Theoretical Framework 3. Croatia: Authoritarian Rule, Systemic Shifts and Neoliberal Policies 4. Hungary: The Negative Effects of Political Budget Cycles 5. Poland: How to Radically Rewrite the Social Contract 6. Slovenia: Neocorporatist Constraints and the Postponement of Reforms 7. Comparative Politics of Reform: Legislation, Implementation and Sustainability 8. Conclusions: Findings and the Future of Reforms