JOURNAL ISSUE 6
2002/2003

 

Dean, Professor, Dr. sc. Vlado Puljiz

THE WELFARE STATE AND DECENTRALISATION



Abstract: The welfare state today is passing through a serious financial and conceptual crisis whose roots lie in economic, technological and demographic changes. Decentralisation is one of the ways of resolving this crisis - instead of the central government inefficiently trying to resolve the problems that have accumulated, some of the tasks might be carried out by lower territorial units according to the principle of subsidiarity. Successful decentralisation of social policy requires the creation of conditions for activating civil society institutions. Although the social policy and social assistance in Croatia should be decentralised, this process is hampered by poverty within society in general and by significant differences among regions in terms of economic developmen.

 

THE WELFARE STATE AND ITS CURRENT CRISIS

(1) Criticism of the concept of the welfare state, in the form that dominated after the Second World War, is coming both from the right and left of the political spectrum. Neo-liberal critics, such as Hayek, Nozick and Friedmann, support what is known as “the new rights”, which imply reduced state interference. On the other hand, the left-wing theoretician, J. Habermas, points out that the mechanisms of the welfare state have colonised society and “consumed” a significant part of citizens’ personal freedoms (Abrahamson, 1990).
Moreover, there are complaints that in the secondary distribution of revenue which is carried out by the welfare state, people from the lower social layers who need most help are those who come off worst. This is known as the St Mathew’s Effect, which states that whoever possesses will receive and have even more. In other words, if social groups compete for welfare benefits, usually those who win in the market’s primary distribution will also receive more in the secondary distribution carried out by the state. Namely, the conditions and procedures of the social security systems are, as a rule, adapted to the middle class which, when realising its social rights, uses networks of influence and power to which the socially disadvantaged groups of the population have no access (Deleeck, 1978.). The problem of moral hazard is also apparent in the behaviour of the users of the social security system. Namely, many of them are not careful to avoid the risk against which they are insured, because they know that they will be compensated for their loss and because they assume that other users are not careful either. This is the typical behaviour of those who use common goods (the curse of the collective). As in the theory of games, people do not behave exclusively according to their own criteria, but also according to the actions they expect from others. This can easily be confirmed by general behaviour, when insurance against risk exists which lowers the responsibility of the individual in spending communal funds. The welfare state thus becomes a huge insurance and idemnification machine (Evald, 1985).
The most serious critical remarks on the welfare state warn us that it encourages the dissolution of the primary forms of solidarity (family, neighbourhood, local community) and thus takes upon itself the impossible task of resolving an increasing number of social problems which appear in society. It has been pointed out that in developed countries, particularly in those that have a strong liberal orientation, the development of mass society and Ford’s production structure was accompanied by social atomisation, that is, a weakening of primary social groups in which people used to satisfy their basic needs. In these circumstances, lonely individuals (as part of D. Riesmann’s “lonely mass”) mainly satisfy their needs on the market, and when they often do not succeed, they turn to the state. The whole wealth-distribution system gradually acquires bipolar characteristics (market-state) which means that the space for intermediary forms of sociability and mutual support grows smaller: “The crisis of the welfare state is, in large measure, an exponential expression of this rigidity. The forms of state solidarity, the development of services and collective institutions cannot compensate for the consequences of the atomisation of society. Hypersocialisation coming from above can no longer respond to the induced desocialisation at the core of society … After all, if “social” does not mean anything but a network of autonomous, separate individuals, the state will have to cover them in full. It will become the only possible form of social solidarity, and the only manner of expressing collective life … In this way, the welfare state is partly associated with the growth of individualism: the less the individual relies on his or her close ones, the more he or she has to turn to the state as a powerful protector” (Rosanvallon, 1981: 115-116).
This is, therefore, a radical criticism of the welfare state which, by taking over the role of the main “producer of social welfare” after the market had rejected the previous forms of solidarity, has found itself in the impossible position of tutor of society and the only guarantor of social cohesion. The welfare state appears as a Leviathan which gobbles up the societal creations of the lower levels within which people used to live in mutuality and solidarity. The huge administrative apparatus which has been created by the welfare state is the outer expression of its growth, bureaucratic inefficacy and insensitivity. There are also opinions that the crisis of the welfare state is less and less associated with economic factors and that in the largest measure it is the expression of the impossibility of the task for the state to satisfy the social needs of a society which is undergoing complete transformation. The welfare state, it is said, is not capable of responding to the challenge of the exclusion of a large number of people from society, i.e. responding to the need for their social integration (Calvaruso, 1994).

(2) The main causes of the crisis of the welfare state in western countries can also be applied to European post-socialist countries. These countries have also undergone extensive demographic changes which have not differed significantly from those in the West. Moreover, the welfare state has had a negative impact on the economic sphere. Social policy was identified with economic policy and was marked by strong state paternalism. The governing nomenklatura distributed social status, mostly following the criterion of loyalty. The state employed people, retired them, distributed flats, social benefits and services. The social transfer system was not transparent; in fact, the relationship between the providers and the beneficiaries was completely blurred. This enabled the state to rise above society and to have overall control over its citizens. There was, nevertheless, a silent agreement between the elite in power and the wide layers of the population, which gave power to the elite who in turn guaranteed social security to the population. Therefore, individual freedom was sacrificed for the security and the realisation of an abstract ideological project.
In socialism, contrary to T. H. Marshall’s model, social rights developed before civil and political rights. In its first phase of development, socialism carried out the modernisation of backward societies in Eastern Europe with relative success, but did not succeed in sustaining economic growth during the second phase of its development, when the very civil and political freedoms, private property, individual initiatives and private entrepreneurship became a necessary precondition of advancement. Failure on the political plane caused a fall in the standards of living of the population and threatened the basic achievement of socialism – social security. Since the ruling elite did not succeed in ensuring accumulation and economic growth, it lost its legitimacy to govern society on the social plane. “In other words, the contract between the ruling nomenklatura on the one hand, and the wide layers of the impoverished population on the other side, practically ceased to exist, and, as a consequence, socialism as the ruling system simply caved in upon itself” (Puljiz, 1996).
After the failure of socialism, post-socialist countries had to undergo a painful social experience. A marked regression of economic activity was felt, as well as a fall in the standard of living and a disintegration of the system of social security. Many citizens of the former socialist countries had lived in the illusion that western individual freedoms, standards of living and social security would be achieved relatively quickly by the very act of transforming the political system. However, the transition turned out to be a long and arduous process involving radical changes in the political, economic and societal spheres, which this could not be achieved overnight. Therefore, the failure of socialism led to a “new insecurity” (Deacon, 1992). It is a fact that most former socialist countries, which practically had not known what unemployment was, were suddenly faced with mass unemployment after the fall of socialism in 1989. A similar thing happened with poverty, which was regarded as an exclusive phenomenon of the capitalist period. Various socialist-protection measures, which the post-socialist countries had undertaken at early stages in order to maintain social security, had a weak effect, because the “anchors of social security had slipped away, and the safety nets of social security had been torn” (Standing, 1998). Nevertheless, it must be emphasised that there was no expressed longing to return to the old system, at least not in post-socialist Central European countries. These countries have gradually, with a great deal of effort and sacrifice, been pulling themselves out of the crisis, seeking a new model of social security, taking into account western experiences and development projections.


II. DECENTRALISATION AND THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY

(1) How should the welfare state be further developed, in what way should social problems be resolved, and how can the essential levels of solidarity and social justice be maintained in a society exposed to dynamic changes? With regard to this, many ideas have appeared and various solutions have been applied which are gradually being condensed into a new experience.
To simplify, the future of the welfare state comes down to statism on the one hand, and privatisation on the other. Between these two extremes, is a third possibility, which, to a large degree, would be marked by decentralisation.
Social statism basically means the solution of social problems within a bipolar (market-state) structure of the distribution of wealth. However, the problem lies in the fact that the increasing atomisation of society imposes the need for a meaning to be found in the growing state redistribution of social wealth. There is a danger that new taxes and contributions, in other words, rising welfare costs, would lead to a kind of block on society. This brings us to the negative consequences of statism, such as the grey economy, illegal employment, unacceptable inequalities, etc. Therefore, it can be said that social statism as an alternative has actually worn itself out and has been rejected by the social democrats who themselves, were once its greatest supporters.
Privatisation, as the mainstay of the liberal scenario, supports the dominant role of the market and the significantly reduced role of the state in the redistribution of national wealth. Its negative consequence is social regression, an increasing suppression of the lower social strata and the spread of social pathology. Instead of a welfare state, there is a need to strengthen the repressive apparatus necessary for controlling an increasing number of antisocial elements (for example, as in the USA). Consequently, there is a danger that the state gradually loses its legitimacy, particularly in the marginal, impoverished parts of society that develop a kind of subculture, which, as a rule, is contrary to central social values.

(2) What is left is a “middle way” which helps to leave behind the dichotomy of privatisation-statism which can be reduced to the formula, collective services = state = non-market = equality, or as an alternative, private services = market = profit = inequality. The prevailing opinion is that the future of the welfare state should be sought in the skilful combination of different market and non-market elements. Rosanvallon writes: “The unambiguous logic of statism should be substituted by a triple dynamics which implies socialisation, decentralisation and the process of increasing autonomy” (Rosanvallon, 1981: 111). Socialisation is another term for debureaucratisation, i.e. for the more rational management of large social services and collective actions. Decentralisation is expected to bring about such a reorganisation of public services such that it would enable them to become closer and more accessible to the users. The process of increasing autonomy implies that local groups take over more tasks and responsibilities in the social and cultural sectors. The process of increasing autonomy also means the transfer of competence in the area of welfare services from the state to non-governmental bodies. In this way, the reduction of the welfare state opens opportunities for a kind of production of sociability at lower levels. “What has to be done is to develop a deeper civil society and a space for exchange and solidarity which can be placed within its frame, which means giving up both de-territorialisation and the projection of the distribution of wealth to only two polarities: the market and the state” (Rosanvallon, 1981: 115). In other words, the diminishing of social intervention from the state, which will not end in social regression, should enable the stimulation of the development of collective services which will be supported by the citizens themselves, that is, public services which will emerge from local initiatives. This means that what is called a “welfare mix” should be developed, in which the state will have a lesser role, and in social actions there would be more space for various social groups and organisations.
In the discussion on decentralisation it must be taken into account that the traditional welfare state used to rely on a kind of geographical indifference. The supporters of decentralisation and the welfare mix insist that the social situation of an individual or group cannot be understood independently of their position in the local social context. For example, an equal quantity of funds does not mean the same in a village, where the family has a small vegetable garden, an orchard or some cattle, and in the city, where everything must be bought and there is no auto-consumer economy. Therefore, the widening of civil society and the “localisation of welfare” are becoming necessary components of the new social action in society. Castel writes: “In such a conjunction, the administrative forms of local welfare are deeply transformed and the return to the localised contract and treatment is to a large degree restored. This is not accidental. Contractualisation reflects, and at the same time stimulates, a re-composition of social exchange in an increasingly individualised manner. Parallel to this, the localisation of social intervention rediscovers the relationship of closeness between directly interested partners, which the universalist legal regulation had erased” (Castel, 1995: 762).
Decentralisation and the process of increasing autonomy enable the establishment of an intermediary level between the individual and the state. This is a kind of re-territorialisation of social action, which makes space for the operation of informal, small neighbouring groups; groups focused on a single interest, self-help groups, activities of group advocacy, and formal organisations which have social, cultural and other goals at a local, regional, but also at a national level. This further implies the renovation of the volunteer sector. Small local groups can be particularly useful in providing everyday help to people and in self-help actions. In the conclusion of the study on social problems and the manners of resolving them in European countries, M. Pijl writes that one has “the impression of a deep currents of local energy and all to often not finding them” (Pijl, 1994: 93).
Nevertheless, we must not fall under the illusion that the decentralisation and localisation of social policy will bring about only positive effects. There is a prominent fear that decentralisation, apart from strengthening local collectives, ensuring an ecological balance and satisfying a variety of human needs, can lead to regional inequalities, conflicts and intolerance. Therefore, if the welfare state with large social security systems has made social transfers non-transparent and individuals and social groups passive, radical localisation, without the compensation of solidarity and justice at the level of society as a whole, can lead to new problems. For this reason, the process of decentralisation should be carried out in parallel to the establishment of a mechanism to overcome various conflicts. “The democratic ideal does not mean denying or erasing conflicts under the unconvincing mask of “consensus”, but making them productive and constructive. The growth of social transparency and the development of democracy go side by side in the same direction” (Rosanvallon, 1981: 127).

(3) When dealing with decentralisation, discussion of the principle of subsidiarity gains a special meaning. This principle demands that political and other decisions are not made at any level that is higher than necessary. “More precisely, that there should be a decentralised organisation of responsibilites, with the aim of never entrusting to a larger unit what can better be realised by a smaller one” (Spicker, 1991: 3-4).
The subsidiarity principle is an old concept which was most extensively promoted by the Catholic church. Though its origins go back to the 19th century, the enclitic “Quadragesimo Anno” by Pope Pius XI of 1931 is usually quoted as its original formulation, stating: ”… just as it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and to commit to the community at large what private enterprise or endeavour can accomplish, so it is likewise unjust and a gravely harmful disturbance of the right order to hand over to a greater society or higher rank functions and services which can be performed by lesser bodies on a lower plane. For a social undertaking of any sort, by its very nature, ought to aid the members of the body social, but never to destroy and absorb them (Spicker, 1991: 14).
The subsidiarity principle could be interpreted in such a way that state intervention is unnecessary as long as something is possible at a lower social level in an alternative form. This affirms in practice the principle of decentralisation. However, subsidiarity can be observed as a defence of individual freedom and independence. In fact, subsidiarity stems out of an organic understanding of society: “Man is born in society, into a family, and a nation, and by the mere fact of existence, assumes inescapable duties towards his fellows and is endowed with the rights of membership of that society” (Clarke, 1975: 66). Subsidiarity implies hierarchical solidarity, which means that “… the primary source of solidarity or mutual responsibility is the family, then, secondarily, the community, and so forth; only at a distance comes the responsibility of the state, the international community and “humankind” (Spicker, 1991: 5-6). After all, care for people with special needs, like the ill, the old, the handicapped, is carried out in the greatest measure by the family, and the state has only a marginal role in this. Help from the state is, in most cases, efficient if it has the support and the co-operation of primary social groups, because their activity is the precondition for the success of state action.
Some authors point out that the subsidiarity principle is, in most cases, understood only in its first, negative meaning, which means that, according to circumstances, the intervention of higher levels of society is prevented by lower levels. However, the full interpretation of this principle implies the obligation of the higher authority to assist individual members of the social community: “In other words, subsidiarity refers not only to the idea of intervention - at second hand - i.e. acton to supplement (and arising from) incapacities an failings by the lower groups, and only in proportion to such incapacities and failings - but also to the idea of necessary support of protection, which means supplementary action when as soon as the need for it makes itself felt, and in particular as soon as human -dignity - is deemed to be insufficiently secure” (Ranjault, 1992: 49).
It is this very support and protection that constitutes the foundation of the higher authority, from which stems its obligations towards vulnerable groups or individuals who cannot provide adequately for themselves and live a dignified life. In this manner, the contradiction between the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity can be resolved. In other words, subsidiarity assumes that there is an organised society which is made up of concentric, hierarchically arranged social groups. In such a society, a dynamic balance must be achieved between freedom and authority, and between autonomy and justice.
The supporters of various political orientations, on the left and on the right, invoke the principle of subsidiarity, by selecting from it what suits them best. Conservatives usually try to apply subsidiarity to family policy, to the volunteer sector and to the communal resolution of problems. At the same time, they support strong centralised authority, and refuse to accept decentralisation and the transfer of authority to local bodies. Liberals prefer to defend individual autonomy and entrepreneurship, whereas the members of the left see decentralisation as the particular value of subsidiarity, that is, the strengthening of local authorities. When we deal with the new concept of the “third way”, the social democrats and the centre left parties lean towards the widening of various forms of civil society, and decentralisation serves them as a suitable means to realise this end. Consequently, the subsidiarity principle should not be understood as immanently conservative. It can be invoked not only by those who are threatened by statism, but also by those who are weaker in relation to those who are more powerful (for example, regions in relation to the state).
It is important, however, not to view the subsidiarity principle as an isolated element, but within the context of other principles like solidarity, equality and justice. Only in this way can a dynamic balance be established, which is necessary for the sustainability and development of society. Accordingly, subsidiarity is compatible with a pluralism of societal values. The application of the subsidiarity principle is very complex: “Above all, there are hardly any absolute criteria which would allow incontestable decisions to be reached concerning the incapaties or failings of individuals and groups, and which would guarantee the efficacy of supplementary intervention by the higher authority” (Ranjault, 1992: 40). Practical policies in applying the subsidiarity principle are the result of tradition on the one hand, and of the relationship of political and social powers on the other hand. Therefore, there is no ideal model for the application of subsidiarity, but there is a search for solutions in concrete situations which depends on a constellation of different social and political powers.
The subsidiarity principle is currently very popular. Three great events have contributed to its topicality. In the first place, European integration, both economic, and socio-political. It is known that within the European Union the subsidiarity principle is applied in the relationships between the Union itself and the member states, but also within the individual member states in relation to the regions and smaller territorial units. Furthermore, the fall of socialism has also contributed to the resurrection of subsidiarity. Socialism denied this principle by stigmatising it as a product of Western conservatism. Socialism relied on the Jacobine political tradition, which was extremely intolerant of autonomous, intermediary instances between the individual and society. Finally, the value of subsidiarity has also increased due to the mentioned crisis of the Western welfare state.
Today, a “subsidiary state”, i.e. a state which has transferred part of its obligations to lower levels and other protagonists in society, is more appreciated than the traditional welfare state. For this reason, in place of “welfare state” we increasingly speak now of a “welfare society”.

III. SYSTEM OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AND DECENTRALISATION IN CROATIA

(1) There are three ways in which the state distributes social benefits to its citizens. The first mechanism of distribution is social insurance, which is associated with employment and the payment of contributions. Such a type of social expenditure can be regarded as a reward for what has been invested. This category includes most pensions, sickness and unemployment benefits, and insurance for accidents at work. The largest part of social expenditure belongs to this system of social insurance. The second type of state distribution concerns universal or contingent expenditures. They are targeted towards a defined population, and are given without additional control and regardless of employment status. As a rule, this is a kind of compensation for a certain condition and its goal is to prevent poverty or the worsening of a social position. This category of social expenditure includes children’s benefits, the universal old-age pension, assistance for the handicapped, etc. The third type of social expenditure includes public relief, which is given following a control of revenues, resources or working capability. The aim of public relief is to overcome socially disadvantaged conditions by providing assistance in the satisfaction of basic needs.

(2) Post-socialist countries took a big step forward from marginal forms of social assistance towards a wider, elaborated system. On the one hand, social assistance has been used to complete the existing social insurance system and in this way, through minimum protection, the holes in the social safety nets were repaired. On the other hand, the spreading of social assistance was the consequence of the effort to control welfare costs, which is achieved by giving support to those who need it most. Sipos writes about social assistance in these counties: “The reform of social insurance will probably, in time, lower the distribution within the system. In this way, social assistance will stand out as special care for vulnerable groups. Financing and giving welfare assistance from a social insurance programme will significantly improve the transparency of both systems. Such a change requires the appropriate formation of social assistance funds and the development of an efficient alternative mechanism of distribution” (Sipos, 1994: 156). In the Visegrad countries, social assistance reforms have been carried out. In the Czech Republic, a new law on social help has been in force since 1995, with the intention of moveing the user from a passive to an active status. In 1993, a law was adopted in Hungary which delegated new competence to local bodies. The aim is for the local authorities to find adequate answers to the social problems of the population. Poland underwent a process which tried to transform the old system of assistance into a system which would concentrate on alleviating poverty. In Slovakia, the category of the social minimum is used, which consists of two components: a) the amount necessary to cover basic needs and (b) the amount to cover the basic costs of a household, depending on its size (Cichon, 1995).
Post-socialist countries are faced with a great lack of funds for welfare purposes, and consequently also for social assistance. Therefore, they are looking for a rational model for managing responsibility and financing social assistance. It is well-known that the local authority too readily distributes help with inflows from central funds. It has no motive for reducing costs but, on the contrary, tries to satisfy the requests of local users and applies strong pressure on central funds to increase transfer. The situation is different when assistance from the central funds is distributed through the local branches of the central administration. However, this increases administrative costs, and the central administration is not able to distribute help in a rational manner.
In order to eradicate uncontrollable local expenditure, two methods are usually applied: matching grants and block grants. In the first case, the local authority itself must invest certain funds if it wants additional central financing. The problem appears when the local authorities do not have any funds themselves, but depend totally on the central funds. The establishment at a central level of the extent of assistance for local needs has the advantage of avoiding pressures to increase expenditure. Every increase of social expenditure above a determined amount is a burden on the local authority, which is thus forced to control expenditure. In the second case, the central authority must have access to information on the social situation and needs, because only in this case can it equally distribute funds to the local units. In post-socialist countries with a poor quality of social statistics and insufficient experience in managing social services, it is difficult to distribute funds to the local units. Since a reduction of social expenditure is currently promoted, the experts of the World Bank have recommended the second approach. “Nevertheless, according to Sipos: The option of determining the extent of support is given priority, while particular attention should be devoted to the use of data on which the distribution is founded and on which quality control systems are established” (Sipos, 1994: 252).
General poverty and the scarce funds for welfare programmes in post-socialist countries mean that there is an increasing dependence on humanitarian organisations, that is, the non-profit sector. These organisations are those which collaborate most with the local bodies. The results of a study in Hungary show that the local authorities are not able to manage welfare problems, but turn to the non-profit sector for help. For this reason, two-thirds of civil foundations have been established on the incitement of the local authority. Local authorities, “… gained greater flexibility - mainly in financial matters - through non-profit organisation operating in this legal form, making possible various social and technical innovations" (Straussman & Levai, 1996: 21). Most local bodies within the social sector in Hungary want to broaden and strengthen their connections with non-governmental organisations. In other words, the decentralisation of social policy can have positive effects if this mobilises civil entities and resources, particularly non-governmental organisations as mediators between the citizens and the state, to resolve social problems.

(3) The social assistance (welfare) system in Croatia is highly centralised and mainly depends on the central state budget. Apart from those from the state budget, more substantial funds for social welfare, are allocated in Zagreb, and to a lesser extent in Rijeka. Social Welfare Centres, as well as other social welfare institutions, are directly responsible to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The distribution of competence is very unequal and does not follow the recommendation in the quoted document of the Council of Europe. Such a centralised system, which appeared as a consequence of war, reflects the widespread syndrome of dependence on the sate and the expectation that the state will resolve all social problems. This syndrome is also marked by dissatisfaction with the unjust distribution of wealth that took place in the previous period. It should also be borne in mind that some areas were damaged in the war to such an extent that the population of these areas practically depends on state subsidies and social assistance, while the local units have no possibility for any self-financing.
Consequently, the project of decentralisation must take into account the very unequal economic conditions of the Croatian regions and local communities. This fact alone, however, does not mean that decentralisation has to be postponed, at least with regard to social assistance. The Law on Social Welfare has opened up some possibility of activating other resources, such as reducing statism and rationalisation. However, the realised results are not significant. Besides good regulations, stimuli and an atmosphere suitable for local and other initiatives are also important for success. In this respect, it would be useful to quote the Hungarian experience in local initiatives: “Successful innovations do not necessarily begin with a fully elaborated plan. Our experience shows that it is much more frequently the case that a charismatic individual speeds up events until they lead to what could be called a creative explosion" (Straussman & Levai, 1996: 8).
In our country, the tradition of humanitarian work is not so well developed. One exception is the Church, which has extensive experience and which, for a long time, has been the key institution of civil society. People lean most on the primary links of solidarity within their nuclear or wider groups. However, the trends of the development in Croatian society show the need for developing a non-governmental humanitarian sector in normal, peacetime periods. Humanitarian organisations sprang up in large numbers in exceptional war circumstances when solidarity and cohesion were felt more strongly in society. They showed their strength then, but also revealed some operational disadvantages. Now is the chance for the peacetime, non-governmental sector to develop, in parallel to the growth of national well-being and the accession of Croatia to international associations.
In this context, the role of the state should be viewed from a different perspective: “… If the state were give real content to the practice of social justice and social solidarity, the protection of certain basic social values and so would really become an instrument of public good; and if the non-profit sector playing its role of intermediary and attention-drawer, were help shape a better relationship between the citizens and the government. This could lead to a new model of government in which it would not only be a matter of ensuring public services but a combined efforts by the different sectors - state, the non-profit, private, in the interest of satisfying the community needs on a higher level” (Straussman & Levai, 1996: 35).
According to all this, decentralisation can be an important step towards the great reform of the Croatian welfare state, but only if it is understood as part of a complex effort of setting suppressed energies into motion to resolve social and other problems.


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