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AIAS Fellows' Seminar: Borbala Kovacs

The Making of Formal Insecurity. Similarities of welfare state transformation in Eastern Europe

Info about event


Monday 4 March 2019,  at 14:15 - 16:00


The AIAS Auditorium, Building 1632, Room 201


This is an exercise in documenting similarity in social policy adaptation in what have been termed the ‘unique hybrids’ of Eastern Europe. The talk reviews changes to family policies, old-age pensions and tax benefits in Hungary, Lithuania and Romania for the 1990-2018 period to show that despite their diversity, the adaptation of these very different nations’ social policies reveal remarkable similarity. The deepening of institutional dualisms in all three nations has been achieved through asymmetrical retrenchment: cuts to universal and means-tested benefits, diversification and expansion of earnings- and employment-related benefits. The resulting dual social rights systems may be best conceptualised as formal insecurity especially for the least fortunate.    

Short bio

Borbála Kovács is EURIAS fellow at AIAS and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Global Studies, Aarhus University. Before that she taught at Central European University, Budapest. She researches the welfare states of Eastern Europe. Her current research projects are both comparative: the Hungary-Lithuania-Romania comparison focuses on social policy adaptation trajectories. The Romania-Denmark project focuses on trust and street-level bureaucrat-client interactions.    

Borbala Kovacs' project at AIAS

What is a Fellows' Seminar?

The AIAS Fellows' Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellow or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, one fellow will present and discuss his/her current research and research project, closing off with a question and discussion session.

All seminars are held in English and open to the public. Registration to the seminar is not necessary.  Read more about the AIAS Fellows' Seminar here.