Searching for Normative Grounds of the Universal Welfare State

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Huck-Ju KWON, Gradatue School of Public Administration, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
Hyojung KIM, Korea Educational Development Institute, South Korea
In recent years, universal welfare has attracted a special attention from policy makers as well as academics in social policy because universal policy instruments have been proposed and introduced across world. Unconditional cash transfers in developing countries have been introduced in many developing countries and universal basic income in developed countries have been fiercely debated in countries like Switzerland and South Korea.

This paper pays special attention to the moral obligation for citizens in universal welfare, as they are responsible for sustaining universal welfare. It critically reviews political theories on social welfare to construct normative grounds for universal welfare: a human rights approach, the Rawlsian theory of justice, and the republican idea. Although none of these normative theory strands provide automatic justification, they can provide an important rationale for universal welfare. By expanding these political theories, this paper will construct a universal welfare state with a solid normative grounds and identify social policy instruments that could be parts of the universal welfare state.