The expansion of the European Union (EU) has put an end to the East-West division of Europe. At the same time it has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified in the lower living standards and higher unemployment rates in some of the new member states. This important new reference work describes the education systems, labour markets and welfare production regimes in the 10 new Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. In three comparative chapters, discussing each of these domains in turn, the editors provide a set of theory-driven, comprehensive and informative indicators that allow comparisons and rankings within the new EU member states. Ten country-specific chapters follow, each written by experts from those countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. These chapters provide detailed information on each country's education and training systems, labour market structure and regulations, and its provision of formal and informal welfare support. An important component of each country chapter is the explanation of the historical background and the specific national conditions for the institutional choices in the transitional years. The handbook provides policy makers with the tools to assess the institutional changes in CEE countries, and scholars with ways to apply the proposed indicators to their analytic research. It will be a vital resource that no major research library should be without.
Subjects: Political Science
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