Family policies in Russia and Ukraine in comparative perspective

Katharina Wesolowski, Södertörn University
Tommy Ferrarini, Stockholm University

This study analyzes the institutional settings of family policies in Russia and Ukraine, the two most populous countries of the former Soviet Union, and places their family policies in the wider context of the longstanding welfare states. Against the background of low birth rates and the identification of such demographic processes as detrimental by politicians and policy makers alike in Russia and Ukraine and as research has demonstrated that family policies are very likely to influence childbearing decisions it is important to study the institutional make-up of family policy legislation in Russia and Ukraine. We will base our analysis on a social rights approach that captures the content of policies instead of focusing only on social expenditures. Thus we will use the multidimensional perspective originally developed by Walter Korpi, and advanced in subsequent studies (Ferrarini 2003, Korpi 2000, Korpi et al 2010), and will strive to locate contemporary Russian and Ukrainian family policies in the space of this multidimensional typology. The data to be collected for this purpose include conditions, levels and duration for several kinds of family policy benefits. To our knowledge, such a large scale comparative perspective and systematic comparison of family policy institutions in Russia and Ukraine with longstanding welfare states has so far been absent in the comparative welfare state literature due to the focus on welfare states with a long history of democratic rule.

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Presented in Session 5: Family policies