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.
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".
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.
When explaining public policy outcomes, preference is often given to structural factors, such as the population's demographic structure, the intrinsic logic of policy programs, and, most importantly, the level of economic development1. The drawback of such a one‐sided approach becomes evident when we look at social policy outcomes in East Asia, which can hardly be explained by structural factors. The current study, thus, suggests to take a more actor‐oriented perspective and analyzes social policy outcomes as the result of a policy process, in which actor groups with different policy preferences and perceptions negotiate with each other. In this perspective, increases in social welfare efforts by the State are seen as the consequence of successful advocacy and coalition building of actors who favor welfare state expansion. The focus of the study lies on the resources and constraints, which these actors face. In line with the study's conceptual framework, the Advocacy Coalition Framework, we expect to find that social welfare proponents are successful in reaching their objectives when political resources, such as available information on the policy issue, are rich, and political constraints, such as the nonaccessibility of decision‐making procedures, are limited.
The study is based on data drawn from expert interviews in three East Asian countries: South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia. For each of the country, key social welfare reforms of the past 30 years were selected and potential stakeholders identified and interviewed. The results suggest that the winning formula for social welfare proponents is the successful coalition‐building between technical experts with a privileged access to information on one hand and civil society groups with their potential to mobilize the public on the other hand; in some decisive moments, they have been able to join forces with higher civil servants who had a more direct access to political decision‐making.
We prolong a comparative research about the Korean and Mexican welfare regimes. Mexico has reinforced the dualized character of its regime, with the construction of new institutions that serve to further embed the segmentation and stratification of the social security and social protection system, especially in health (new program to poor people) and pensions (non-contributory), and with the privatization of some aspects of the social security (contributory pensions with individual accounts). South Korea regime has been abandoning a residual system and can be placed in new characteristics: the institutionalization of universalism (health and pensions) and social rights (poverty), linked to limited markets and governed by public action (health), with declining familialization (but still socially strong), South Korea is clearly a hybrid case.
In this paper, we will analyze the relationship of welfare regimes and social actors. In particular, we will discuss the impacts of the democratization and the social coalitions in the two cases. We will take in account the institutional transformation in health, pensions and poverty from the 80's until recently. In one hand, in what extent the most important Korean and Mexico social coalitions, important foundations of the welfare regimes, influence these institutional transformations? And, in the other hand, in what extent the welfare modifications influence in the strength or deterioration of the social coalitions, or in the generation of new social coalitions?
The term of office of Donald Y. K. Tsang, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, will end in July 2012. Over the past six years, the government's planning and implementation of social policies have received heavy criticisms from both the political parties and the public. This has been particularly overwhelming after the release of the 2011/12 budget which angered the public heavily. The public accused the government for being too passive and irresponsible to take care of the disadvantaged groups. The social assistance measures introduced by the government are being seen popularly as short-term, piecemeal and unsustainable. The Hong Kong government's financial reserve in December stood at close to HK$580 billion. It has had seven years of surplus in a row - an increase of more than HK$300 billion from the record low level of 2003-04. To a certain extent, saving money is a prudent strategy and can keep the government finance healthy, but people suspect the government is not willing to commit itself into the long-term wellbeing of the population. With such a large amount of monetary reserve, the government still refuses to launch some sustainable policies like a universal pension plan for the ageing population, and conduct structural reforms to the social welfare system. This paper will give a comprehensive review of the development of social policy in Hong Kong in the past six years under the Tsang administration. Main topics to be covered in this paper are social security, elderly care and housing. A particular focus will be put on the recent 2011/12 budget as a case study to study the Hong Kong government's mentality in planning and implementing social policy.