Miracles, Giants, Dragons and Small Tigers: Beyond the Unique, Hybrid, World and Model Asian Welfare States on the Move?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: F203
Distributed Paper
Sven HORT , Social Welfare, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
For two decades, comparative welfare state research on developments in Asia was largely confined to five or six cases: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and occasionally China. These welfare states have continued to be in the foreground of recent social research. However, with rise of PRC over the last decade this picture has entirely been changed. On the one hand the focus of global social policy research has shifted towards the monumental transformations going on in China also regarding welfare policy. Chinese social researchers have come to the fore in this area to an extent never seen before. In particular western researchers have flocked to this lump of sugar and interacted with the growing stock of domestic comparative scholars in this field. So far, this stream of research is only in its infancy and the outcome is still uncertain not least regarding its impact on the larger picture of comparative research. On the other hand, in the shadow of the rise of China, a fair amount of research of specific cases in particular in Southeast Asia has completely been neglected by both the comparatists of the traditional cases and contemporary Chinese developments. Recent social policy developments in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and to some extent also India have become a growing concern among social welfare researchers interested in a particular case. Again, this is another stream of research still in infancy, the outcome is uncertain but there is a dire need to bring such studies into the larger picture of comparative, cross-national welfare state research.