Increased Involvement of the Disabled in Welfare Policymaking

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Ryoko TAKAHASHI , Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
There is increasing emphasis on participation by disabled people themselves in the process of formulating policies for the disabled, both in Japan and abroad. One of the most recent examples of this trend took place in Japan; in 2010 the government set up the “Committee for Disability Policy Reform”, forming it in such a way that more than half of the members were directly concerned with the issue (people with disabilities and/or their family members), to discuss reformation of policies for the disabled, and to develop dialogue and cooperation with them.

The aim of this report is to identify the conditions for successful advocacy that promotes the participation of disabled people in the field of welfare policymaking. I will review and compare the advocacy of organizations consisting of disabled people in reference to Esping-Andersen’s welfare regime typology. The discussion covers the organizations’ history, fundraising strategies, ways of participating in the policymaking process, relationship to the government, as well as their role and influence.

My research results are as follows; disability organizations are actively participating in policymaking both in the Scandinavian countries, classified into the social-democratic regime, and in the United States, the liberal regime. However, there is a difference between the two cooperative relationships with the government: in Scandinavia, welfare policymaking is carried out with strong support from the government, and thus always runs smoothly. In the United States, on the other hand, it is often carried out amid a tense relationship with the federal or state government, and because of this, there are cases in which it is not smooth. I will add analyses of Japanese cases classified into the conservative regime, and examine the universal conditions and problems requiring distinctive solutions that can be found through the participation of the disabled in every country.