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For many politicians and observers in the West, East Asia has provided a broad range of positive images of the state's intervention in society. Neoliberals grew excited by popular welfare systems that cost little in expenditure and bureaucracy. Social-democrats thought they had found a model for social cohesion and equality. In fact the reality in East Asia is rather different from these stereotypes.
In this book six specialists of six different societies in East Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong) examine the role of the state in their welfare systems. There are detailed case studies on pensions, health insurance, housing and personal social services. They provide an up-to-date detailed account of how these systems have developed as well as an examination of the question of whether these welfare regimes are the natural outgrowth of cultural traditions or the result of economic and political conditions.
This broad-ranging and detailed study will be welcomed by both students and policy makers as the first proper academic study in English to have such a wide coverage of this topic. Its clarity and authority should come as a welcome alternative to the more common misconceptions about Asian society.
|Gordon White 1942-1988|
|List of figures and tables|
|Notes on contributors|
|Pt. I||An overview of the study||1|
|1||Welfare Orientalism and the search for an East Asian welfare model||3|
|Pt. II||An overview of East Asian welfare systems||25|
|2||Democracy and the politics of social welfare: a comparative analysis of welfare systems in East Asia||27|
|Pt. III||Country case studies||75|
|3||Welfare and governance: public housing under Singapore's party-state||77|
|4||The South Korean National Pension Programme: fulfilling its promise?||106|
|5||Can we afford it? The development of National Health Insurance in Taiwan||119|
|6||The 'Japanese-style welfare state' and the delivery of personal social services||139|
|7||The making of social policy in Hong Kong: social welfare development in the 1980s and 1990s||159|
|8||Social security reforms in China: towards an East Asian model?||175|