The Chinese State's Retreat from Health

Policy and the Politics of Retrenchment

By Jane Duckett

© 2013 – Routledge

160 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415855006
pub: 2013-04-15
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415573894
pub: 2010-11-08
US Dollars$145.00

About the Book

Over the post-Mao period, the Chinese state has radically cut back its role in funding health services and insuring its citizens against the costs of ill health. Using an analytical framework drawn from studies of state retrenchment in industrialized democracies and in post-communist Eastern Europe, Jane Duckett argues that the state’s retreat from health in China was not a simple consequence of economic policies and market reform. Just as important were the influences of health policies, reform era political institutions, communist party ideology, and bureaucratic stakeholders.

Through her analysis, Duckett maintains that by studying retrenchment in China, the world’s most populous nation and now a major global economic power, we can better understand international transformations in the role of the state, and the politics that shape that role.

The Chinese State’s Retreat from Health both extends research on retrenchment politics to a major authoritarian state and contributes to piecing together understanding of the Chinese state’s changing role across the economy and other social policies, including housing and education. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese politics, social policy and the Chinese health care system, as well as to those with a comparative interest in health, welfare states and the politics of retrenchment.

Jane Duckett is Professor of Chinese and Comparative Politics at the University of Glasgow, UK.


"THIS BOOK IS TIMELY AND WELL WRITTEN, OFFERING AN ACCESSIBLE and critical account of health retrenchment in China since the late 1970s… Duckett’s book is inspired by welfare retrenchment literature about industrialised democracies, and draws its analytical frameworks from these, making certain revisions according to China’s specialities in order to explore the politics of health system change in transition China. In this way, this book may contribute to comparative welfare politics literature by integrating this party–state transition country into welfare retrenchment literature. In addition, the political analysis of health cutbacks also contributes to the understanding of China’s politics during the post-Mao era… To sum up, this book fills a gap in comparative health policy research. It is an informative and welldocumented book about past and present health policy and politics in China, and could inspire the researcher to do further work." - Lei Zhang; Europe-Asia Studies, 65:4, 776-777 (2013).

Table of Contents

1 Policy and Politics in the State’s Retreat from Health 2 A State-backed Health System, 1950s-1980s 3 The Retreat from Budgetary Financing 4 The Retreat from Rural Risk Protection 5 The Retreat from Urban Risk Protection 6 State Retreat in a One-Party System

About the Author

Jane Duckett is Professor of Chinese and Comparative Politics at the University of Glasgow, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on China in Transition

The spectacular economic development of China has raised many questions about its future. China in Transition participates in the intellectual developments by focusing on social, political and cultural change in the China of the 1990s and beyond. Drawing on new research from scholars in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, this series is invaluable in monitoring reform and interpreting the consequences for China, its neighbours and the West.

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