College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

11-2015

Document Type

Thesis

College/Department Conferring Degree

Public Administration

Keywords

welfare, welfare state, Republic of Moldova, post-communism, European Union

Abstract

During the communist era, Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) shared a similar welfare system in which welfare states were part of an inseparable political and economic system controlled by a totalitarian power i.e., the Communist Party. After the fall of the USSR, in 1989, an end to social provision led to a massive recession that created pressures within the welfare state system. Despite similar pre-transition welfare state structures, the newly independent countries drastically diverged in how they developed their welfare state: some began pursuing integration into the European Union (EU) while others remained uncertain of their future. Although there is significant research exploring welfare and the welfare state, there is a lack of consensus on what these encompass. Findings in relation to a country’s post-communist background and EU association are therefore inconclusive, thus generating considerable controversy among scholars. This study explored the meaning of welfare and the welfare state, and also analyzed the correlations between a country’s relationship to the EU and its welfare state. Findings suggest that welfare and the welfare state vary among countries. The welfare state expands beyond the institutional level to encompass the condition of welfare or wellbeing. This research identified three areas that have not been thoroughly studied as part of a nation’s state of welfare: human trafficking, migration and corruption. Additionally, this study found that while statistics may indicate that EU association contributes to superior welfare states, the true condition of a country’s welfare may be conflicting due to the criteria used to measure welfare states.

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