Policy Press

East Asian welfare regimes in transition

From Confucianism to globalisation

Edited by Alan Walker and Chack-kie Wong


Mar 30, 2005

Page count

248 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
East Asian welfare regimes in transition

Eastern welfare systems have largely been neglected by Western social policy. There is very little information in the West about their operation and the differences between them. Yet, as China and South-East Asia emerge as a major regional economic block, it is vital to understand the social models that are in operation there and how they are developing.

This book puts the spotlight on the Chinese and South-East Asian welfare systems, providing an up-to-date assessment of their character and development. In particular it examines the underlying assumptions of these systems and how the processes of globalisation are impacting on them. As well as specific country case studies, there is a valuable comparative analysis of Eastern and Western welfare states.

The book provides a unique insight into the main South-East Asian welfare systems written by experts living and working within them. It focuses on 'Confucianism' and globalisation to provide an account of tradition and change within the South-East Asian cultural context.

Eastern welfare states in transition will be essential reading for students of social policy requiring an understanding of non-Western welfare systems. Policy makers and practitioners who are interested in how Eastern welfare systems are adapting to globalisation will also find it an important read.

"With this significant scholarly contribution to comparative global social welfare policy, the authors make a very strong case for the inclusion of East Asia in any future comparative social policy research and scholarship. Social development should become part of the criteria for comparative social welfare policy analysis. Highly recommended." Choice

"This most recent edited book by Alan Walker and C.K. Wong brings a fresh set of eastern thoughts and ideas in examining Asian welfare systems. ... Hopefully, this volume can become one of the catalysts to inspire other younger Asian scholars to further examine the social and welfare developments of the Asian region." The Hong Kong Journal of Social Work

"This book provides a wide range of welfare policy developments in six East Asian societies; the text is especially relevant for Western researchers and students who are interested in comparative social policy studies." International Journal of Social Welfare

"... this is a timely contribution to the current debate on pension reforms and sustainability in the 'emerging' economies of East Asia ..." International Social Security Review

"This is a timely contribution ... [it] fills a gap in comparative social policy research. It is an informative and well-documented book..." Relations Industrielles/ Industrial Relations, Vol. 61 (3)

"A valuable and original contribution to the limited comparative literature on Eastern welfare systems. Academics, students and practitioners working within international agencies should read this book to gain a better understanding of the ways in which welfare needs are met in societies with varying histories and ideologies." Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh

Alan Walker is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Sheffield and has been writing and researching in this field for over 30 years. He has a long association with China and Sout-East Asia and has supervised 20 doctoral students from the region.

Chack-kie Wong is a Professor in the Department of Social Work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has carried out research in Hong Kong and other parts of China.

Part 1: Welfare in East Asia: Introduction: East Asian welfare regimes ~ Alan Walker and Chack-kie Wong; Is welfare unAsian? ~ Ruby C.M. Chau and Wai Kam Yu; Part 2: The East Asian welfare regimes: Social welfare in China ~ Joe C.B. Leung; Hong Kong: from familistic to Confucian welfare ~ Sammy Chiu and Victor Wong; Managing welfare in post-colonial Hong Kong ~ Chack Kwan Chan; The welfare regime in Japan ~ Makoto Kono; Taiwan: what kind of social policy regime? ~ Michael Hill and Yuan-shie Hwang; The development of the South Korean welfare regime ~ Sang-hoon Ahn and So-chung Lee; The welfare regime in Singapore ~ Vincent Wijeysingha; Conclusion: from Confucianism to globalisation ~ Alan Walker and Chack-kie Wong.