Introduction: out of the incubator, Janos Matyas. Part 1 Theory and politics - state and market in post-communist welfare systems: social security through economic growth, Leszek Balcerowicz; freedom and security, Zsuzsa Ferge; in search of explanations for recent left-turns in post-communist countries, Petr Mateju; statism, egalitarianism and transition - the case of Slovakia, Iveta Radicova; two societies? Poland in and beyond transformation, Andrzej Rychard. Part 2 Economic policy, regulation and social change - social (in)equality: social differences in Poland, Michael Boni; the role of welfare programmes in alleviating poverty in Hungary, 1992-1993, Istvan Gyorgy Toth; old and new economic inequalities - the Czech case, Jiri Vecernik; divisions and conflicts in Poland, Lena Kolarska-Bobinska. Part 3 Unemployment, decentralization of social policy and health care reform - case studies of the transformation: vocational school graduates on the labour markets in Poland, Elzbieta Drogosz-Zablocka; employment and life chances of the long-term unemployed in Hungary, Agnes Simonyi; on the border of state and civil society in Hungary - some aspects of self-governance in the period of transition, Julia Szalai; dilemmas of the transformation for public health insurance in Hungary - malfunctions of the system of price subsidy for drugs, Peter Vince.