Abstracts & Papers in Stream 1
During the "golden age of the welfare state", from the end of World War II until the middle of the 1970ies, the Taiwanese welfare Systems was relative residual. However, after the 1980ies, while most developed countries faced a tendency of welfare retrenchment, the Taiwanese Welfare System expanded rapidly and until recently, there is still no tendency for major social welfare retrenchments in Taiwan. In other words, the logic of Taiwanese welfare development can be described as "old politics" in term of Paul Pierson. This means politics does matter for the development of social welfare in Taiwan.
Since the major social cleavage in Taiwan is not class or left-right schema, but ethnical background and national identity among the population. The Power Resource Theories or Party-deference approach can not give a satisfied answer why Taiwanese welfare Systems expanded rapidly in the 1990ties, but relative slower in the 2000ties. These welfare state developments theories can neither give a comprehensive insight into the Taiwanese welfare state and its background, nor explains why the welfare development in Taiwan was relatively more expanded than Korea in the 1990ties. We argue the institutional or functional approaches show also limitation when applying to examine the welfare state development in Taiwan.
This study combined the theories of welfare state development and researches of ethnical groups in Taiwan. We argue the factor "ethnical group" plays a significant role behind the dynamic of Taiwanese social welfare development, especially in the 1990ties. The welfare debate was influenced by the background that the social protection for Veterans was much better than other citizens. Since the majority among them were from Mainland China after 1949, the than opposition party DPP demanded therefore a "fair" social welfare Systems in the earlier 1990ties. This leaded to quickly introduction of the National Health Insurance and social allowance System for Farmers. But after the introduction of social allowances systems for the Elderly citizens in 2002, the differences of the social protection for difference ethical groups was reduced. We argue that the factor "ethnical groups" did not have the same impact after 2002.
After the 1970's Energy Crisis, the New Right ideology, which was composed of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism, was widely accepted in the western welfare state to downsize the scope of state and reallocate the welfare responsibility among state, society, family and individual. Public Private Partnerships, or PPP, has become a crucial issue in welfare governance. State has transformed to an enabler rather than a provider in welfare provision. It purchases welfare services from NGOs to serve citizens within the new financial arrangement and regulatory framework in accordance with the theory of New Public Management.
Hong Kong is a typical case of use of PPP in welfare services. Since 1970s, more than 90% of welfare services have been delivered by NGOs with substantial financial support of government. Given annual substantial public expenditure invested in NGOs, colonial Hong Kong government has repeatedly emphasized the importance of accountability in its White Papers on Social Welfare.
In the face of several political-economic problems, the colonial government of Hong Kong launched social welfare subvention reform in the mid-1990s based on the tenets of New Public Management. Accountability and customer-oriented services are the focus of new Lump Sum Grant Subvention System, comprising Lump Sum Grant Subvention, Competitive Bidding, and Service Performance Monitoring System. It is the first time that government formulates a policy framework to carry out accountability in PPP in Hong Kong social welfare.
Employing the political economy theoretical framework, this study critically analyze the PPP in Hong Kong social welfare service under New Public Management welfare governance model by examining how NGOs' access to power and resource for survival and development as well as playing their roles in the new subvention system. The study reveals that in current PPP in Hong Kong social welfare, the power is not being shared equally. Government possesses power over resource allocation, service standard setting, and so on. The existing accountability arrangement in PPP is partial and incomplete. NGOs and social workers are being kept constantly on the run due to shirking resources and increasing accountability expectation.