In the beginning of the restored independence period the "Bismarckian", corporative social security model was implemented in Lithuania. Nevertheless, because of neo-liberal pressure it gradually shifted to the direction of liberal-marginal development. At the same time the socio-economic processes in the West were marked by retreat from welfare states, although in some Western countries, especially in the Nordic states, the social indicators remained rather positive. Although in the West welfare states problematics remained as the part of socio-political and economical discourse, there were no discussions observed in Lithuania considering the chosen direction of development of the social policy model. European Union institutions and the International Labour Organization recommended the more responsible social policy for European states, but Lithuanian political forces did not pay much attention to them - social exclusion and poverty were not diminishing. In the article, the socio-political conditions for the creation of welfare states in Europe and Lithuania are analyzed. It is stated that "passive" welfare states, which were mainly based on the social benefits, are moving to the direction of active and empowering social policy. Neo-liberal pressure, which is lasting for already several decades in the West, Eastern Europe and Lithuania, enables to hold only defensive positions in relation to the active social policy. Unfavourable social inequality and poverty situation was predetermined in Lithuania by pro-liberal decisions of ruling political parties and such "think tanks" as the Lithuanian Free Market Institute and the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University. The pro-liberal course of the Lithuanian Socialdemocratic Party also played a big role for establishment of adverse social situation in Lithuania. Potentially the leftist parties could oppose an unfavourable direction of development of social processes. But neither Western European nor Lithuanian socialdemocratic forces were ready for more active social policy. It is important to stress that social indicators in Lithuania were not improving not only during crises but during the most favourable economic development in 2001-2008 as well (when GDP was increasing by 7-8 percent on average annually).
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science