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Archiv čísel » 2016/1 - ERIS Journal - Winter 2016 »

Challenges with Poverty and Unemployment: Comparison of Austria with Western Balkan Countries

Besnik Fetahu

Medailon autora:

Besnik Fetahu, Ph.D. Austrian Fellowship (2015) at the Institute for Sociology, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences – University of Graz (Austria). Taiwan Fellowship (2016) at the National Taiwan University, Center for Advancement of the Humanities and Social Science. Currently, Lecturer at the Faculty of Public Safety (full time) and Lecturer at the University of Peja (part time) Kosovo. His area of expertise is political science and sociology, with a focus on social policy, social welfare, welfare state and social problems. At the Faculty of Public Safety his lectures include: Research Methodology; Society, welfare and safety; Social Policy; Socialization and Resocialization; Training and programs of Rehabilitation; Social Work. From 2010–2014, member of three international projects related for Higher Education, supported from EU and Austrian Government.


Managing poverty and unemployment in the current political, social and economic situation is very challenging for Austria and especially for Western Balkan countries. Austria is among the modern welfare states in Europe while Western Balkan countries are in their EU integration process, with their poor welfare system are facing slow economic growth, political instability, high level of corruption and many social problems. Western Balkan countries are very well known for their wars in former Yugoslavia, Albanian rebellion in 1997 and the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, but are less known for their social welfare system. In their process of transition, development and integration in the EU, many social problems appeared on the horizon with an increasing rate of unemployment and widespread poverty. Can Western Balkan countries achieve the level of the Austrian welfare system or can they follow the route of developing a sustainable welfare system as Austria has it? This article provides and analyses statistical data about unemployment and poverty for all Western Balkan countries compared with Austria. The overall purpose is to elaborate the welfare state in Western Balkan countries, as one region that surprisingly was not well studied.

Klíčová slova:

welfare state, poverty, unemployment, labor market, social services

s. 35 - 45

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