Pathways to State Welfare in Korea: Interests, Ideas and Institutions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Pathways to State Welfare in Korea

Interests, Ideas and Institutions, 1st Edition

By Gyu-Jin Hwang


204 pages

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Paperback: 9781138266667
pub: 2016-11-15
Hardback: 9780754642619
pub: 2006-04-28
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pub: 2017-03-02
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Why has Korean social policy developed differently from that of other East Asian countries? While in many respects Korea can be compared with Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, where economic development has been the chief priority of state action, Korea has also implemented extensive welfare reform, expanding its welfare provision even under recent conditions of economic downturn. Gyu-Jin Hwang traces the development of the Korean welfare state, providing a fascinating case study for observers of East Asian industrial growth and the public management of social risks. Arguing that the extension of state welfare presents a unique challenge to existing theoretical propositions underlying social policy development, he draws on detailed empirical analysis of key policy areas, namely public assistance, national pensions, health care and employment insurance. The book offers a definitive analysis of the development of Korean social policy programmes and the politics of implementing them. The book will be important reading for all those interested in comparative Social Policy and more specifically the development of Social Welfare in Asian countries.


'Clearly written and admirably researched, Hwang's impressive analysis of the growth of state welfare in Korea is a model of quality comparative social policy.' J.S. Ditch, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Consultancy), Northumbria University, UK 'Hwang offers an engaging, historically rooted, analysis of welfare state development in Korea. In so doing he skilfully illustrates the complex interplay between ideas, interests and institutions that is at the heart of the policy process and provides us with a rich theoretical analysis of the forces that propel social policy change.' John Hudson, University of York, UK ’…offers an interesting analysis of the development of social policy programmes in South Korea and the politics of implementing them.’ Journal of Comparative Asian Development

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Analytical foundations: interests, ideas, and institutions; Public assistance: from the provision of benefits to the formulation of rights; National Pensions: from an instrument of growth to the object of distrust; National Health Insurance: from segmentation to greater equality; Employment insurance: from structural adjustment to social consensus; Conclusions: pathways to State welfare; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Gyu-Jin Hwang at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

Social Policy in Modern Asia

Social Policy in Modern Asia
In an age of globalization, this series is designed to help broaden the basis and the perspectives of international comparative social policy by introducing fresh countries and above all fresh perspectives on social policy into what has hitherto been very much a Western-dominated field. Topics to be covered include social care, welfare services, family structure, crime and punishment, pensions, housing, and healthcare in various countries including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy