This book looks at the role of social policy and particularly social security in addressing the ongoing challenge of poverty in East Asia despite the region’s spectacular experience of economic growth in decent decades. The East Asian miracle resulted over the last four decades in a transformation of the region’s traditional agrarian economies and significant increases in standards of living for many ordinary people. Even though it was given little attention, poverty has remained an ongoing problem. The problem became particularly evident however with the Asian financial crisis of 1997 when many low income and middle class workers became unemployed. As a result of this crisis, the need for effective social policies and social security programs were recognized. The idea that economic growth would solve the problem of poverty was increasingly challenged. Even in China today, where rapid growth has created new employment opportunities and the promise of prosperity for many, the government has recognized that the problem of poverty cannot be addressed only through economic growth but that comprehensive social policies must be formulated, and this includes the development of an effective security system.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction and Context Introduction: Poverty and Social Policy Responses in East Asia Kwong-leung Tang and James Midgley 1. The Role of Social Security in Poverty Alleviation: An International Review James Midgley Part II: Country Case Studies: Social Security in East Asia 2. The Emergence of Social Assistance in China: Challenges and Issues Joe Leung, and Xu Yuebin 3. Social Assistance Programmes in Singapore Mui-teng Yap 4. Korea’s National Basic Livelihood Programme and Social Development Joon Yong Jo 5. Welfare-to-Work Reform in Hong Kong: Overview and Prospects Kwong-leung Tang 6. Rural Social Protection in China: Reform, Performance and Problems Xu Yuebin and Zhang Xiulan Part III: Innovations and Issues of Social Policy and Poverty in East Asia 7. Building Assets for the Poor in Taiwan: Policy Innovation from Income to Assets Li-Chen Cheng 8. From Micro-Credit to Micro-Insurance: Creating Social Security Where There is None Takayoshi Amenomori 9. The Social Investment Fund of Thailand Shinichi Shigetomi 10. Knowledge of Public Policy and the Perceived Positive Impact of The Welfare Benefits System C. K. Wong and Kwong-leung Tang 11. Social Security, Housing Policy and Asset Building: The Relevance of Home Ownership for Elderly Income Protection in Hong Kong James Lee
James Midgley is the Harry and Riva Specht Professor of Public Social Services and Dean Emeritus at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kwong-leung Tang is Director and Professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Between 2003 and 2008, he served as Chair and Professor of Social Work at the Department of Social Work, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.