Welfare Reform in East Asia: Towards Workfare, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Welfare Reform in East Asia

Towards Workfare, 1st Edition

Edited by Chak Kwan Chan, Kinglun Ngok


174 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415728379
pub: 2013-10-29
Hardback: 9780415590266
pub: 2011-09-02
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pub: 2012-11-12
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In many Western countries, social welfare payments are increasingly being made conditional on recipients doing voluntary work or attending job training courses, a system known as "welfare-to-work" or "workfare". Although social welfare in Asia is very different to the West, with much smaller social welfare budgets, a strong self-reliance and a much higher dependency on family networks to provide support, the workfare approach is also being adopted in many Asian countries. This is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of how welfare reform around work is implemented in leading East Asian.

Based on the experiences of seven East Asian economies - including China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau - this book critically analyses current trends; the social, economic and political factors which lead to the implementation of workfare; compares the similarities and differences of workfare in the different polities and assesses their effectiveness.


"This well-argued book will be a valuable contribution to the fields of social welfare and East Asia, and will be an informative read for students and scholars in those fields."

Aiqun Hu PhD

Arkansas State University - Journal of International and Global Studies

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures List of abbreviations Preface About the contributors Part I: Introduction 1. Understanding Workfare in Western and East Asian Welfare States - Chak Kwan Chan Part II: Workfare in Seven East Asian Economies 2. Workfare in Mainland China: A Reaction to Welfare Dependency? - Kinglun Ngok, Wingkit Chan & Zhaiwen Peng 3. Workfare in Hong Kong - Joe C. B. Leung 4. From Workfare to Cash for All: The Politics of Welfare Reform in Macau - Alex H. Choi & Eva P.W. Hung 5. Workfare in Taiwan: From Social Assistance to Unemployment Absorber - Chin-fen Chang 6. Workfare in Japan - Shogo Takegawa 7. Workfare in South Korea: Delivering Unemployment Benefits in the Developmental Welfare State - Huck-ju Kwon & Jooha Lee 8. Workfare in Singapore - Irene Y.H. Ng Part III: Conclusion 9. Workfare in East Asia: Development & Characteristics - Chak Kwan Chan

About the Editors

Chak Kwan Chan is Reader in Social Policy at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Kinglun Ngok is Professor and Director of the Institute for Social Policy, Centre for Public Administration, School of Government at Sun Yat-sen University, China. They recently co-authored Social Policy in China: Development and Well-Being.

About the Series

Comparative Development and Policy in Asia

The primary aim of this series is to publish original, high quality, research level work, by both new and established scholars in the West and East, on all aspects of development and policy in Asia. 

The scope of the series is broad, and aims to cover both comparative and single country studies, including work from a range of disciplines.  With particular reference to how Asian states have coped with the growing challenges of globalising economies and the ways in which national governments in Asia have changed their public policy strategies and governance models in order to sustain further economic growth, the series will bring together development studies, and public policy and governance analysis, and will cover subjects such as: economic development; governance models; the factors underpinning the immense economic achievements of different countries; the social, political, cultural, and environmental implications of economic restructuring; public policy reforms; technological and educational innovation; international co-operation; and the fate and political impact of people who have been excluded from the growth.  The series will include both empirical material and comparative analysis; and both single authored books and edited collections.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies