The Free-Market State or the Welfare State?

  • Markku Kivinen
  • Li Chunling


When Russia and China started their socioeconomic reforms, their starting points were institutionally rather similar. Both were one-party states. They had eliminated the private ownership of the means of production and classes based upon that. Their social policy was also built on the labour collective and state-provided welfare benefits for special groups. However, as far as their level of modernisation was concerned they were quite different. Russia was an industrialised and urbanised society, and China was still a predominantly agrarian society. These differences exist even today, as can be read, for instance, from the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2010 (Table 3.1), although the results of the comparison are no longer so unambiguous.


Middle Class Welfare State Trade Union Social Security System Welfare Regime 
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© Markku Kivinen 2012

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  • Markku Kivinen
  • Li Chunling

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