Independent living in Central and Eastern Europe? The challenges of post-socialist deinstitutionalization

Teodor Mladenov, Gabor Petri

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This chapter focuses on the right of disabled people to independent living – as stipulated in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – by discussing the reform of ‘deinstitutionalization’ in present-day, post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe. We argue that post-socialist deinstitutionalization has often produced re-institutionalizing outcomes that have defied the very aims and principles of the reform. To explain this, we consider the impact of inherited state socialist constructions of disability, neoliberal reforms following the demise of state socialism in 1989, and more recent processes of European Union (EU) integration. These general historical and social-theoretical considerations are supported by content analysis of disability policy documents and case studies of domestic mobilizations from Hungary and Bulgaria. In conclusion, we propose strategies for moving ahead with deinstitutionalization reform in the post-socialist region of Central and Eastern Europe so that the provisions of Article 19 can be effectively realized.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU Social Inclusion Policies in Post-Socialist Countries
Subtitle of host publicationTop-Down and Bottom-Up Perspectives on Implementation
EditorsIngrid Fylling, Elena-Loreni Baciu, Janne Paulsen Breimo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429434549
ISBN (Print)9781138352803
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in European Sociology

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