Maria Ignatova-Pfarr/Carina Schmitt: Kommunistische Sozialpolitik während des Kalten Krieges. Rentenpolitik in Bulgarien, in: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2024. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 191–202.

The spread of communism after the Second World War led to profound socio-economic changes in all Eastern European countries. In line with communist ideology, the USSR pushed all countries within its sphere of influence towards a universal, egalitarian social security system. Bulgaria was one of the first Eastern European countries to establish an egalitarian social security system in a very short time. As early as 1975, Bulgaria established a single pension system covering all occupational groups, including farmers. This paper argues that the specific design and timing of pension reforms can only be explained by considering the influence of communist ideology, USSR pressure and specific internal factors. Using the method of process tracing and based on archival and documentary research, it illustrates how internal and external factors led to the introduction of the two major pension reforms in communist Bulgaria – the introduction of pension insurance for cooperative farmers in 1956 and the introduction of a unified pension system in 1975. It shows that, in addition to external political and economic pressure from the Soviet Union, national factors played an important role in shaping communist pension policy in Bulgaria. In particular, the important position of peasants in Bulgarian society before and after the communist takeover was crucial for the rapid introduction and comparatively generous design of the universal pension system.

Über die Autorinnen

Maria Ignatova-Pfarr, geb. 1994 in Sofia, Bulgarien. 2014 bis 2019 Studium der Politikwissenschaften, seit 2020 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am SOCIUM, Forschungszentrum Ungleichheit und Sozialpolitik an der Universität Bremen.

Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt, geb. 1980. 2002 bis 2007 Studium der Politikwissenschaft und Geschichte, 2011 Promotion und 2013 Habilitation im Fach Politikwissenschaft. Bis 2017 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin und von 2017 bis 2022 Professorin am SOCIUM, Forschungszentrum Ungleichheit und Sozialpolitik an der Universität Bremen. Seit 2022 Professorin für Politikwissenschaft an der Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. Veröffentlichungen u. a.: »Total War and the Emergence of Unemployment Insurance in Western Countries«, in: Journal of European Public Policy 27 (2019), H. 2, S. 1879–1901 (mit Herbert Obinger); »Guns and Butter? Regime Competition and the Welfare State during the Cold War«, in: World Politics 63 (2011), H. 2, S. 246–270 (mit Herbert Obinger).

Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung