Ciprian Badescu

Theories of welfare state development

Supervisors: Professor Martin Powell and Iestyn Williams

The path-breaking work of Gosta Esping-Andersen (1990) has dominated comparative social policy for the last 25 years (see Barrientos and Powell, fc, 2015). This classified 18 nations into ‘three worlds’ of social democratic, conservative and liberal regimes. However, the typology was based on 1980 data, and neglected many nations, including Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations. Therefore, it has little to say about the momentous changes in CEE nations in the last 25 years. The meta-analysis of Ebbinghaus (2012) points to the severely under-representation of CEE countries in comparative studies on welfare regimes. Moreover, while CEE nations have tended to be neglected within the welfare modelling business, the few studies that focus on CEE nations tend to use different concepts, variables and methods, and tend to report different conclusions.

It is not clear if CEE nations can be seen in terms of Esping-Andersen’s regimes (liberal; conservative; social-democratic); as a separate and additional CEE regime (cf. the debate on the East Asian Welfare Model e.g. Powell and Kim 2014); or as CEE regimes. It can be argued that one particular world of CEE welfare regimes (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) have their roots in imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary (Inglot, 2008), which is different from other CEE welfare regimes such as the Baltic States. More importantly, there are some conceptual reasons why the logic of Western European regimes may not apply to CEE nations.  For example, cyclical patterns of welfare states’ development in the CEE were not only a characteristic of social policies during the communist period but, also, one of the main distinctive patterns of societal developments in the former communist countries.

Many CEE nations became part of the European Union in so-called “waves”, experiencing different levels of welfare state development. Similar ‘exogenous shocks’ (‘shock therapy’) can be seen in rapid and external guidance of agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in transition to capitalism. While the welfare regimes from the Western Europe were not influenced by major political upheavals like wars or revolutions in the last sixty years, the Central and Eastern E.U. states were confronted with “pivotal contingent events” (Inglot, 2008) that induced major transformation of different configurations of the welfare regimes.

Just like some commentators argue that East Asian countries require appropriate concepts and measures rather than relying on ones focused on Western Europe (see Powell and Kim 2014), it can be argued that there is a need to explore the degree to which Esping-Andersen’s work is relevant to CEE nations. 

This PhD research project provides a meta-perspective (Gough & Sharkh, 2010) on welfare regimes in CEE that is a new perspective that encompasses different configurations within various worlds of welfare regimes. It takes up this challenge with an ‘audit of the welfare modelling business’ (cf. Powell and Barrientos 2011) of an in-depth review of empirical and theoretical studies on welfare issues in the CEE with the following research questions:

  • Are the concepts and measures of Esping-Andersen (1990) appropriate for CEE nations?
  • What is the number and composition of clusters of CEE nations?
  • How have these clusters changed over time?


I have more than 10 years’ experience of research activities in the field of social sciences with a focus on comparative analysis of social policies and welfare regimes in Romania and countries from E.U. However, I feel that a PhD in one of the best social policy departments in a leading UK University would greatly benefit my career due to exposure to expertise and networks. Moreover, I believe that earning a PhD is more than a theoretical and methodological challenge for a mid-career researcher. Following a “senior scientist” career path in social sciences requires a broader perspective, encapsulating the imperative of continuous development of relationships with prestigious academic and research institutions, laying the foundation for a ground-breaking research and policy action.

My skills, expertise and interests fit well with the research areas of my proposed lead supervisor, Prof Martin Powell, who has contributed to the welfare regimes literature for ten years, and has some of the most highly cited articles in the area.

More broadly, studying in a leading ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and department of Social Policy, which has internationally recognized social policy academics (e.g. the four-volume set co-edited by Alcock and Powell, “Welfare Theory and Development”) will contribute to a successful career path in social research areas.

My PhD research project “Theories of welfare state development” aims to contribute to an expanded perspective on welfare regimes. Professor Martin Powell’s contribution to the advance of research paradigm on welfare regimes is having a significant impact on the concepts, theories and methods that will be used within my PhD research project.  


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, University of Bucharest
  • MBA Degree, Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

Research interests

  • comparative social policy
  • typologies of welfare regimes in the Central and Eastern Europe
  • sociology of transition
  • sociology of organizations

Teaching responsibilities

Contributing to School of Social Policy’s PGR seminars.

Conference papers

Workshop on “European Futures: Key Themes from Postgraduate Research”, that took place Tuesday 12th July and Wednesday 13th July at the Greater Birmingham and West Midlands Brussels Office – Title of presentation: “European future: from welfare regimes to regimes of welfare corridors. Towards a typology of trans-boundary welfare regimes in the Central and Eastern European area of E.U. The cases of Poland and Romania”.

2016 SPA Annual Conference, Belfast, Belfast Metropolitan College, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, 4th – 6th July 2016.

2015 Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association - Societies in Transition: Progression or Regression? - Glasgow Caledonian University (15-17 April 2015). Title of presentation: Deciphering the Global Welfare Regimes: From 'Scalar Analytics' to Cluster Analysis of Welfare State Variations.

“Equality of Chance and Sustainable Development in the European Culture”, 14-15 December, 2012, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.

”Sustainable Development and Equality of Chance in the European Culture”, 20 April 2012, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.

"Cultural Diplomacy – The Culture of Dialogue", 20-21 April 2012, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.

”Equality of Chance and Sustainable Development in European Culture – Good Practices and Community Experiences”, 30 November, 2011, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.

”Centre and Marginality in European Culture”, 12 - 13 October 2011, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.

”Equality of Chance in European Culture”, 24-25 June 2011, The Great Hall of the Romanian Academy.


Badescu, I.; Badescu, C. (2014) Conversiunea sistemelor: pustiul postmodern si deformarile lumii (Conversion of Systems: Postmodern Desolation and Deformations of the World) Bucuresti: Mica Valahie.

Badescu, C. (2013) Fundamentele culturale ale crizelor economice De la etnoeconomie la teoria proprietății identitare (Cultural Foundations of Economic Crises From Ethnoeconomy to the Theory of Identitary Property), Bucuresti: Ed. Muzeului Național al Literaturii Române.

Badescu, C. (2013) Criza si fiscalitate Ocupare si fiscalitate in “societatile indatorate” (Crisis and Fiscality Employment and Fiscality in the ”Indebted Societies”), Bucuresti: Mica Valahie.

Badescu, C. (2006) The Vertical Boundaries of the Firm - A Strategic Approach, ASLA Press, Pasadena USA, 2006.

Badescu, C. (2007) The Vertical Boundaries of the Firm Competitive Advantages: A Strategic Approach, Bucuresti: Mica Valahie.

Badescu, C. (2005) Case Studies in Management Issues, Bucuresti: Mica Valahie.

Badescu, C. (2003) In Search for a Potential Geostrategic Architecture. A Microeconomic Perspective, Bucuresti: Ziua.

Chapters in books:
Badescu, C. (2013). Some Considerations on a New Typology of Welfare Regimes, in Zamfir, E; Maggino, F. (eds.), The European Culture for Human  Rights:  The Right to Happiness.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 356-367.

Badescu, C. (2012). Știința economică și fundamentul cultur al al crizelor (The Economic Science and Cultural Foundation of Crises), in Bădescu,I. et al., Geopolitica noului imperialism (Geopolitics of the New Imperialism), Bucuresti: Mica Valahie.

Marginean et al. (2011). Analiza comparativa a finantarii politicilor sociale – Tari in tranzitie – Tarile Uniunii Europene (Analysis of Financing  Social Policies – Transition Countries – Countries from the European Union), in Geopolitică, integrare, globalizare (Geopolitics, Integration and Globalization Review), Bucuresti: Mica Valahie, pp. 315-336.

Badescu, C. (2003). Proprietatea, modul de exploatatie și circulația pământului (The Land Ownership, Type of Tenure and Legal Circulation of Land) In: ”Țăranii și Noua Europă” (Paysants and The New Europe) (Ilie Bădescu et al. – coord.), București: Mica Valahie, pp. 51-57.

Badescu, C. (2001). Riscurile sociale si comunitatile. Catre o noua ipoteza (Social risks and communities. Towards a new hypothesis), In: Elena Zamfir (Ed.)  Strategii  Antisaracie  si Dezvoltare  Comunitara  (Antipoverty strategies and Community Development), Bucuresti: Expert.

Badescu, C. (2001). Bunastare  nationala  vs. declin  economic  (National  welfare  vs. economic  decline),  in “Sociologie, etica si politica sociala” (Sociology, Ethics and Social Policy), Pitesti: Universitatea din Pitesti.

Badescu, C. (2012). Distributia riscurilor în societatea românească și efectele sale asupra politicilor de protecție socială (The Distribution of Risks in the Romanian Society and Its Effects on Social Protection Policies), în revista ”Calitatea vieții” (”Quality of Life” Review), XXIII, nr. 2, pp. 161–180.

Badescu, C.; Badescu, A. (2008). Modele de interacțiune public-privat în furnizarea de servicii de angajare (Public-Private Interaction Patterns in Providing Employment Services), în revista “Calitatea Vieții” (Quality of Life Review), XIX, nr. 3-4.

Badescu, C. (2008). Organizational Strategies in a Global Era, Romanian Journal of Sociology, 1-2.

Badescu, C. (2008) Firms and their Growth in the Globalization Era, (publicat sub pseudonimul de Grigore Ciprian) (published under the pseudonym of Grigore Ciprian). Romanian Journal of Sociology, 1-2/2008.

Badescu, C. (2004). A Theoretical Experiment in Organizational Transformation: Implementing the Change at Polyprod M&Ddiv, in Romanian Journal of Sociology, vol XIII, 2002 (published in 2004), nr. 1-2;

Badescu, C. (2003). Probleme sociale în România. Analiză dinamică şi comparativă (Social Problems in Romania. Dynamics and Comparative Analysis) în Geopolitica – Revista de Sociologie Comparativă, Geopolitică şi Geoistorie  (Geopolitics – Comparative  Sociology, Geopolitics and Geohistory Review), Centrul de Geopolitică şi Antropologie Vizuală al Universităţii din Bucureşti (Centre of Geopolitics and Visual Anthropology at University of Bucharest).

Badescu, C. (2003). A New Strategic Architecture at Matalan plc – A Geoeconomic Perspective,  în “Geopolitica – Revista de Sociologie  Comparativă, Geopolitică şi Geoistorie” (Geopolitics – Comparative Sociology, Geopolitics and Geohistory Review), Centrul de Geopolitică  şi Antropologie Vizuală al Universităţii din Bucureşti (Centre of Geopolitics and Visual Anthropology at University of Bucharest).

Badescu, C. (2001). “Pretuirea” muncii in Romania si in alte tari europene la sfarsit si inceput de mileniu (The Value of Work in Romania and in other European Countries at the End and the Beginning of the New Millennium), in Romania Sociala – Revista de cultura politica si sociala (Social Romania – Social and Political Culture Review), Bucuresti, 2.

Badescu, C.  (2001).  «Diamantul»  dezvoltarii  umane  si  cazul  Romaniei”   (The  “Diamond”  of  Human Development and the Case of Romania), in Romania  sociala  – Revista de cultura si analiza sociala (Social Romania – Social and Political Culture Review), nr. 3-4.

Badescu, C. (1997). Lantul de “aur” al integrarii Romaniei in sistemul bancar mondial – Abordare geoeconomica (The “Golden” Chain of the Integration of Romania in the World Banking System – A Geoeconomic Approach), in “Euxin – Revista de Geopolitica, Geoistorie si Sociologie”  (Euxin – Geopolitics  and Geohistory Sociological Review), nr. 1.