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"Gambling with the state": understanding retirement and pensions in contemporary Belarus

Padvalkava, Katsiaryna (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In Belarus, the only post-Soviet country in the Eastern European region with unreformed pension system, the fact of the largest cohort approaching the official age of retirement not only sees an increasing burden on the system of state pension provision, but also brings considerable change to state-society relations. Qualitative study of these relations explores understanding of retirement through interviews with Belarusians approaching pension age. Lefebvre's theoretical framework is used to present the findings.

Through the years of socio-economic transition the retiring generation of Belarusians have preserved a “socialist” understanding of pensions - of it being a state’s responsibility and a deserved reward for the years of service. Yet in contemporary Belarus the average pension’s monetary value does not correspond to people’s expectations and hence, as a way of dealing with perceived injustice, the majority of Belarusians plan to work in retirement in order to provide a decent living for themselves and their families, thus undermining the essence of pension as a period of discontinued work. The research’s conclusions suggest that analysing pensions as a social contract for retirement is very important for finding an appropriate approach to changes in pension provision and communicating the direction of proposed pension reform.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Round, John and Moran, Dominique
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:G Geography (General)
HJ Public Finance
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3317
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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