Historical Welfare Regimes

Motivated by the comparative historical analysis of welfare regimes in the wake of state-socialism, this essay elaborates concepts and theoretical methods for analysis of welfare regimes across a variety of historical settings. Informed by a critical reading of older and more recent literature on welfare regimes, and drawing on the legacy of classical political economy and relevant streams of contemporary social theory, the essay puts forward an analytic strategy that calls attention to historical variation in modalities of social, political, and economic integration under state-socialism and market-Leninism and their implications for welfare, insecurity, and social stratification. The essay illustrates the value of the historical welfare regimes through an analysis of historical and regional variation in the principles and institutions governing wellbeing and stratification in Viet Nam. The paper aims to restore the theoretical ambition that characterized earlier studies of welfare regimes (with their emphasis on political-class coalitions and cultures) while building upon recent conceptual innovations in the analysis of welfare regimes.

Full paper download: 3.1.3 Jonathan London.pdffigurereference


Japan has characterized as a company-centered society (Osawa 1993), where "welfare through work" was the main source of welfare provision (Miura 2002), and it was also supported by family welfare which based on the gendered division of labor. To be sure, Japan has had unemployment insurance scheme which was introduced in 1947 and amended in 1974 (Employment Insurance). The Employment Insurance scheme has also contained some elements of active labor market policies (ALMPs) such as subsidy for employment adjustment and benefits for continuing employment of older workers. These are, however, based on lifelong employment model, preventing rather than promoting labor mobility among companies. Other training programs and benefits are exclusively for those who are eligible for the Employment Insurance, which means first job seekers and long-term unemployed are not covered.

Following the collapse of bubble economy in 1991, Japan has experienced a long period of stagnation which is now called "the lost two decades". Since then, the traditional Japanese model has been seriously challenged. Young people could no longer easily get a stable job, because companies reduce the ratio of regular workers. Moreover, the number of involuntary unemployment jumped up after the Asian economic crisis in 1997, and rose again in recent years. Since 2003, some measures for youth unemployed were introduced. In 2008, in addition to the training program under the Employment Insurance scheme, government introduced Emergency Human Resource Development Program. Unemployed persons who cannot receive benefits from the Employment Insurance can take training program with 100,000-120,000 yen payment per month (there were 194,042 participants in 2010).

This paper examines the characteristics of ALMPs in Japan, and then evaluates the magnitude of its recent change by comparing it with OECD countries and other East Asian economies.
While Esping-Andersen's three-worlds model provides a pioneering and heuristic typology for comparative study of welfare regime, this article argues that some basic theoretical revisions have to be done in order to reach a better understanding on postwar Chinese welfare regime. The reason for doing so is because Esping-Andersen's analysis is based on historical experience of European capitalist development, which is related with but quite different from Chinese 'welfare capitalism'. In Mao's era, China carried out state-controlled capital accumulation in which people' labor was heavily regulated by the state, rather than market. Although Chinese society was almost completely 'decommodified' under this system, it did not render people social citizenship in the original connotation of Esping-Andersen's decommodification as people's wage and welfare was still heavily controlled and unequally distributed according to the development plan set by the state. This unequal welfare distribution is reinforced by the introduction of 'socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics' after mid-1980s when past public provision of welfare quickly faded and a new market-centric welfare system has not been built up. This sets the background of rapid development of Chinese welfare reform around the turn of the century. By examining Chinese rural medical scheme, this article argues that Chinese welfare regime is a 'conservative' one in the sense that market operation is still heavily governed and welfare provision is unequally distributed and segregated through state policy in pursuit of capital accumulation. 

Full paper download: 2.3.4 Hung-Jeng Tsai.pdf

In the face of an ageing era, many East Asian countries are confronted by the increasing demand of social care for the elderly and young children. Social care thus has become an integral component of the welfare states conceptualization. However, the discussion about care is complicated by the multi‐dimensional nature of the concept: 1) care is gendered labor; 2) the arrangement of care suggests a mixed economy that involves the family, state, market, and community; 3) care needs to be understood under an ethical/normative framework, characterized by responsibilities and obligations; 4) care concerns with simultaneously the physical and psychological well‐being of both the care‐givers and care‐receivers. The complexity of care renders the conventional welfare states analyses inadequate, and calls for a renewed analytic framework. This paper responds to the key issues of social care in the context of welfare states.
The paper sets out in the first section to bridge the welfare states conceptualizations and the literature on social care, indicating a shift toward the inclusion of social care in the analyses. It proceeds to engage in the "justice‐care" conversation that points to the ethical foundations of welfare states. Drawing on feminist traditions, the ethic of care challenges the paradigm of care provision in welfare states, and in collaboration with the ethic of justice, proposes "care regimes" that promote gender equality and insinuate care into social rights. The second half of the paper examines the elder care issues in the context of mainland China in light of the care regime conceptualization. The analysis exemplifies that the ethic of care and care regime can offer a renewed framework for understanding welfare states. This framework is particularly helpful in the developing contexts, where the conventional welfare states analyses that root in the history of western developed countries sometimes find their applications difficult.
In view of the rising trend of population ageing, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government had launched a series of reforms in long term care for the elderly since 2000. While based on the guiding principles of "ageing in place" and "continuum of care", the reforms were essentially built on the idea of mixed economy of care. Instead of relying on state provision alone, it was suggested that the care of the elderly could be delivered by a variety of sources, including families, neighbors, voluntary, non-governmental and private sectors.
These long term care reforms included an emphasis on community care, the support to family carers, the increase in reliance on private sectoras service providers, the establishment of gate-keeping mechanismfor targeting service recipients, the promotion of accreditation system for residential homes, the introduction of competitive bidding in the selection of subsidized service operators, and the exploration of means-testing and the use of voucher in long term care.
The purpose of this paper is to critically examine these long term care reforms in Hong Kong in the past decade from 2000 to 2010. A qualitative approach is adopted which include literature review of policy documents,statistics and service data and academic researches, as well as interviews of informants. It is hoped that the analysis can shed light on the development of long term care policies in other East Asian societies experiencing population ageing.

Narrating Men's Problem from a Gender Perspective

While there is a substantial effort in promoting women services in Hong Kong in the last decade, men's service is still underdeveloped. This partly reflects that changing men is much more difficult than changing women, which is especially true under a strong patriarchal culture in Chinese societies such as Hong Kong. One of the strongest hindrances is the taken for granted belief that pursuing gender equality is women's business. To date, many social services agencies have started to provide services for men. However, many men's services and men's group only resort to pragmatism and common sense approach in response to men's problems which often stemmed from dominant patriarchal ideology.

The study attempts to understand men's problems from a gender perspective. To capture the complexities of the problems, we had employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to collect data via telephone interviews and in-depth interviews in this study. We have successfully telephone interviewed 547 adult men aged from 18 to 65 to understand their views on different sources of pressure including work, economic situations, family relationship, human relationship, personal development, health and social status. To further explore the perceptions and discourses of their problems, we had selected 10 respondents for in-depth interviews including lone father, male perpetuator of domestic violence, unemployed man, man with disability, ethnic minorities, sex worker, full-time carer, middle-class man and man on benefits. The study showed that most of the problems that respondents faced can be traced to the fixation of male gender role and the structure of gender practice dominating our society. By reframing men's problem from a gender perspective, we can open up new alternatives in solving men's problem and achieving gender equality in society.

Social rights in Korean welfare state have been exclusively associated with a person's capacity to perform paid work. Improvements in the labour market participation thus would allow women more access to benefits. The inclusion also, more importantly, depends on the rules and conditions under which social welfare benefits pay out. Since the economic crisis 97/98 in Korea, active welfare paradigm had run throughout Kim Dae Jung (1998-2002) and Rho Moo Hyun government (2003-2007). Consequently, it has changed the institutional arrangements of welfare provisions noticeably. This paper examines the extent to which the welfare settlements after the crisis in Korea are inclusive of women taking the case of pension reforms. As a background, it discusses socio-demographic changes with special attention to the impact of economic globalization on labour market and the demand for women's labour. In analyzing the social insurance policy reforms, we focus on the coverage, the entitlements and the level of benefits. This paper tentatively concludes that the emerged welfare arrangements will open more doors to women, but for women, the new welfare settlements are "exclusive".

Social Care Exclusion Among Elderly Groups in Taiwan

The number of elderly people in Taiwan has dramatically increased since the 1990s.  The suffering from social exclusion among those in these elderly groups can be traced and explored.  This study uses data from the three research-surveys from the "National Survey of Living Status of the Elderly", conducted by the Ministry of the Interior, in Taiwan, in 2002, 2005 and 2009. The questionnaire contained fourteen sections which represented different aspects of an elderly person's life - health condition, financial well-being and emotional/instrumental support, amongst others.  Questionnaires were slightly changed between three surveys; therefore, our analyses come from those items that have been kept for all three surveys.  Analyses of the health and social living status among these groups -- which include Fukiens and Hakka (which make up the majority population of Taiwan), veterans and their families, and indigenous peoples - were conducted.  Social exclusion in different periods were explored and revealed. Policies to combat various forms of anti-social care exclusion are suggested in the final section.

Full paper download: 4.3.2 Song-Lin Huang et al .pdf

In advanced industrial welfare democracies the demographic, social, and economic transformation entailed new social risks, which are insufficiently covered by the existing social protection schemes. This not only raised questions about the financial viability of existing welfare commitments and resulted in welfare retrenchment, but also contributed to "another" welfare expansion against new social risks mentioned above. In middle-income countries of Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe that underwent epochal political and economic changes in the 1980s and 1990s, the democratization raised hopes that new democratic governments would be more attentive to social issues, while economic crisis and market reforms entailed serious social dislocations and raised questions about the sustainability of social spending and new welfare commitments in the face of severe fiscal constraints. Based on a theoretical approach integrating development approaches, political institutions and welfare legacies, this paper analyzes welfare restructuring in South Korea and Taiwan that experienced beyond the economic and political transformations old and new social risks in the last two decades. The welfare restructuring changed the logic and function of their social protection systems and made them as newly emerging welfare states. However, these two welfare democracies spend too many resources on old risks while not addressing the most pressing problems of post-industrial society, though in varying degrees. This will cast serious doubt on the continuity of the "growth with equity" which is of special importance for underpinning further welfare system adaptation to a profoundly altered economic and social context.

The aim of this paper is to explore the transformation of work-family balance policies in Taiwan in recent ten years. In response to the changes of circumstances in family structure, labour market, fertility pattern, and so on, the Taiwanese government has implemented a series of policy changes to facilitate work-family balance. These policies involve the restructuring of childcare responsibilitiesbetween the state, the family,and the market.

The focus of this paper will be on two policy areas: leave policies and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policies. The main issues which this paper attempts to address are the forms of changes in the two policy areas and the factors which lead to these changes. In terms of leave policies, this paper will review the enactment of Gender Equality in Employment Law and the implementation of parental leave benefit. It will compare the policy making processes of the two policies and analyse the factors which make them different.  In the area of ECEC policies, this paper willillustrate the development of ECEC policies in three policy dimensions: finance, regulation, and provision. Moreover, it will provide explanations on why thesepolicies show different levels of changes in the three dimensions.

This paper will explain policy changes through the perspectives of institutions and ideas. It aims to explore how previous policy framework, policy ideas and discourses, and the interaction between them affect the policy making. The findings of this paper would be helpful to understand the transformation of the Taiwanese welfare system and the process of welfare reform.