Russia's welfare state: the Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor, IRES Library
  • Website
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Phone: 018 471 1630
  • Föreläsning

IRES invites you to a seminar with Professor Linda J. Cook (Brown University) where the issue of labour migrants and compatriot re-settlers in relation to the welfare benefits will be discussed.

Full title: The Politics of  Inclusion and Exclusion in Russia's welfare state: Labor Migrants and Compatriot Re-settlers

In the contemporary period citizenship and other forms of political status have come to serve as key gatekeepers to the public social sector, and political status increasingly depends on nationality or ethnicity. These developments have been characterized as  the rise of the ‘welfare nation-state’ or ‘welfare nationalism.’ My presentation shows the rise of welfare nationalism in the Russian Federation since 2006, illustrated by growing exclusion of other-ethnic labor migrants and pro-active inclusion of ‘compatriot re-settlers.’  A stream of exclusionary policy changes has pushed most migrants out of the public health sector into separate, private medical insurance and health care markets and denied social rights even to those officially registered. A separate, simultaneous policy stream has privileged inclusion of co-ethnic re-settlers -  ethnic Russians and Russophones from Ukraine and elsewhere - placing them on a ‘fast track’ to citizenship and social rights. These two policy streams illustrate the significance of nationality and ethnicity in determining access to basic social rights in Russia. Broadly similar policies of inclusion and exclusion are nationalizing many European welfare states.

Linda J. Cook is a professor of political science and Slavic studies at Brown University and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. Her main research interests are welfare regimes in the Russian Federation, Central and Eastern Europe and on a global level. Cook is author of The Soviet Social Contract and Why it Failed (Harvard, 1993) Postcommunist Welfare States (Cornell, 2007, 2013) and articles in Comparative Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, Voluntas, Europe-Asia Studies and other publications. She is lead researcher for the project, “Social Policy in the Russian Federation” sponsored by the UNRISD. Cook is currently working on a book manuscript, “Welfare Nationalism in Russia and Europe: The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion,” (under review at Cambridge University Press). Her faculty profile can be found at:  http://research.brown.edu/myresearch/Linda_Cook