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Keeping a distance but heading in the same direction: formal rules on unemployment benefit sanctions and social assistance benefit sanctions in Poland, 1989–2014

Bartosz Pieliński (Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Tomasz Mering (Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Ryszard Szarfenberg (Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 26 November 2021

Issue publication date: 23 September 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the development of welfare conditionality and especially benefit sanctions in Central and Eastern Europe (the CEE) and to develop a methodology by implementing Institutional Grammar (IG) for studying rules on benefit sanctions relying only on legal text.

Design/methodology/approach

IG was used as a tool for analyzing legal regulations on benefit sanctions. It was incorporated into a social rights framework that provided a theoretical background for the study.

Findings

The paper shows the dynamic development of rules on benefit sanctions in Poland in social assistance and unemployment services. Both the harshness and strictness of these rules have increased. Simultaneously, the rules of benefit sanctions in social assistance remain more liberal than those associated with unemployment services.

Originality/value

The study presents the first comprehensive and concise overview of benefit sanctions development in the CEE and the first long-term comparison of these types of sanctions in two safety net systems operating in one country. The study also used IG for the first time in social policy research.

Keywords

Citation

Pieliński, B., Mering, T. and Szarfenberg, R. (2022), "Keeping a distance but heading in the same direction: formal rules on unemployment benefit sanctions and social assistance benefit sanctions in Poland, 1989–2014", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 42 No. 11-12, pp. 1145-1164. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-09-2021-0227

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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