Following the assumption that the middle class is important in the transition from communism to a democratic market society as its leading actor and guarantor of social integration, this paper presents evidence of the benefits it has gained from economic and social reforms. As these have turned out to be rather modest, it is likely that the middle class will be more reserved in its political support for a rigorous transformation. Special attention is given to the distribution and redistribution of income in which the middle seems to have been neglected, in comparison to the lowest and upper strata which have become better off. Evidence based on official statistics is complemented by a survey of attitudes which document both the still strong endorsement of the middle class with regard to the implemented changes and a certain split between the ‘old’ and ‘new' component of this important social category.

This content is only available via PDF.