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Borbála Kovács


Current position: Postdoc

During her EURIAS Fellowship Borbála Kovacs worked on the project 'Retrenchment politics in contemporary Eastern Europe: the emergence of formal insecurity regimes?'

Project at AIAS

The study aims to document and explain the peculiar kind of retrenchment process observed so far in both post-socialist Hungary and Romania in a small number of social policy domains and leading to what I have termed ‘formal insecurity’ regimes, characterised not by an increasingly greater conformity with residual welfare states, geared towards the least advantaged in society, but rather an increasingly more pro-middle-class welfare regime at the expense of the most disadvantaged. The study is geared towards systematically documenting the exclusionary features of policy instruments in a number of post-socialist welfare regimes over the last fifteen years across several policy domains, outlining the policy design elements that produce these formal insecurity regimes. The study thus aims to reify what is purportedly a new welfare regime in post-socialist (and possibly post-industrial) societies, the formal insecurity regime; to reassess and provide a new conceptual perspective on welfare state adaptation in postsocialist societies especially; and, finally, to provide a snapshot of where welfare regimes stand today to ask further questions about the nature of the politics driving the formation of this formal insecurity regime.

Project title:

Retrenchment politics in contemporary Eastern Europe: the emergence of formal insecurity regimes?

Area of research:

Social policy, welfare state studies, Eastern Europe

Fellowship period:

1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jul 2019

Fellowship type: 

EURIAS fellow 

This fellowship is initiated by NetIAS and has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and innovation under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no 609400.