Abstracts & Papers in Stream 1

Policy transfer features prominently in the policy analysis literature, yet relatively little is known about how government officials seek to learn lessons in practice. This research, based on interviews with officials in government institutes in South Korea who were involved in a series of study visits to the United Kingdom, addresses this knowledge gap using Evans and Davies' policy transfer network model. We suggest refinements to their model and conclude that there are significant barriers to policy transfer, that cross-national lesson drawing activities rarely leads directly to policy change but is a valuable part of ongoing processes of policy learning.

Full paper download: 2.1.4 Hudson & Kim.pdf

This paper examines the historical trajectories of welfare state development in two of the institutional patterns identified in the literature as 'social protection by other means': Australia and Japan. Over time, the forces of economic liberalisation have undermined the institutional foundation of 'social protection by other means' in these countries. Social policy has increasingly become subsumed under economic policy and this subordinate nature of social policy to economic considerations effectively ended the Australia's wage earners' welfare state and the Japanese employment security regime. However, while both Australia and Japan have followed a similar neoliberal path in their social policy reform direction, the forms and patterns they have taken to follow are not in uniform against the forces of economic liberalisation. I argue here that Australia has undergone a process of 'diversification' in its reshaping efforts of welfare state structure. In Japan, by contrast, more conventional forms of welfare state deepening and expansion have emerged. Also, while Australia's financial commitment stayed intact, Japan increased its level of financial commitment to a great extent.  All in all, while both countries have been restructuring their welfare reforms towards more market accommodating directions, the institutional dynamics underpinning each have led to a divergent pattern in the reform of social policy.
Forced by an ageing population, changing horizons of cultural references and decreasing trust in future welfare rights new strata of cultural, political and social identities are emerging. These new strata are based on the shared political, cultural, economic and social pressures and experiences of each generation, giving rise to the Social Generation as a new centre of identification. The basic hypothesis of this project is that the rise of social generations as categories of meaning, identification and centre of alliances and antagonisms will be one of the defining characteristics in the coming years. What is suggested is that the concept of social generation is added on to the list of traditionally important concepts of class, gender and ethnicity. It is not suggested that generation should substitute for these classical concepts; rather they should be supplemented by it. This will be explored empirically through a comparison of the distribution of elderly care in East Asia and Scandinavia by focusing on what is the distribution of care for the elderly among state, market and civil society (families and NGOs) with a view to generations? In a Chinese context this is investigating the consequences of the family planning policy inaugurated in 1979 which has now resulted in the so-called 4-2-1 family structure. When the only child was small he or she had four grandparents and two parents to care for it, but 30 years later one grown up now has to care for four potentially frail grandparents. In a Scandinavian context a much more institutionalized approach has developed, relying heavily on public locally organized welfare provisions. Yet in both cases intergenerational exchanges of material and care resources are involved, but in China they predominantly go from the younger to the older generations, while the opposite is true in Europe. The paper only deals with the methodological issues relating to this study and tries to solve the issue related to comparing a cluster of small states to a cluster of big states.

Full paper download: 2.1.2 Peter Abrahamson.pdf

Indigenous peoples lived in remote areas are marginalized and discriminated against, and their living condition and development opportunity is limited. The Council of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan has long recognized their disadvantage status, and has been eager to set up service center in each indigenous township to provide concerning and care for the most disadvantage groups. National Dong Hwa University has hosted the in-service training and supervisory program since 2007. Quality of services and cultural competence were the core of in-service training program in 2007. However, from critical social work perspective, the primary function of these centers is not to redeem the shortage of welfare service in remote areas, or to deliver the service themselves. The primary function is to identify the unequal distribution of social welfare, education, medical, economic and political resources in remote areas, and to remove the barriers that excluded the most vulnerable from using services. Materials from government document and in-depth interview with social workers and residents will be gathered to elaborate this. We suggest that critical thinking together with advocacy skill should be the core of in-service training for indigenous social worker in those centers.