East European Labor, Varieties of Capitalism, and the Future of the European Social Model


Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research in East European Studies


Department of Politics


Can the European Social Model survive the expansion of the EU to 10 postcommunist countries? In postcommunist societies, the rigid and highly centralized labor markets of the communist period have been transformed in little more than a decade into labor markets that look less like those in continental Europe than those found in liberal economies such as the United States and the UK. While EU expansion is said to entail the harmonization of the new entrants with existing EU standards, this more liberal postcommunist labor regime has considerable potential to weaken the European social model. This is an in-depth study of Romania and Bulgaria, two countries at the extreme of the coordinated/liberal spectrum.