Metamorfózy sociálního státu v Československu v letech 1956–1989
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The Metamorphoses of the Czechoslovak Welfare State, 1956–1989
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This article follows on chronologically from the preceding article published in the current issue of Soudobé dějiny, and seeks to identify and explain the main lines in the development of social policy in Czechoslovakia from 1956 to the end of the Communist regime in late 1989. It combines historical analytical narration and eye-witness recollections – for the author was continuously involved, at international institutes and in Czechoslovakia from the late 1950s onwards, in the theory and practical implementation of social policy (although in the period of re-established hard-line Communism, called ‘normalization’, beginning in 1969, he was unable to be publicly involved). Since he worked in academia, mostly in the second half of the 1960s, and actively participated in efforts to achieve a fundamental reform of the Czechoslovak social model, he can provide valuable insight into the intellectual ferment of the times. In this article he provides a clear overview of the important social-policy measures that were developed and implemented between two tendencies, in which the welfare state became an instrument of the populist politics of the Communist Party and the Government, while faced with the pressures of economic reality.
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