The East Asian Welfare Model: Welfare Orientalism and the by Roger Goodman

By Roger Goodman

For plenty of politicians and observers within the West, East Asia has supplied a wide variety of confident photographs of the state's intervention in society. Neoliberals grew excited about well known welfare platforms that fee little in expenditure and paperwork. Social-democrats notion they'd stumbled on a version for social solidarity and equality. actually the truth in East Asia is very assorted from those stereotypes.In this ebook six experts of six diversified societies in East Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong) study the position of the nation of their welfare platforms. There are targeted case reviews on pensions, medical insurance, housing and private social prone. they supply an updated certain account of the way those structures have constructed in addition to an exam of the query of even if those welfare regimes are the ordinary outgrowth of cultural traditions or the results of financial and political stipulations. This broad-ranging and particular examine can be welcomed via either scholars and coverage makers because the first right educational learn in English to have this sort of broad assurance of this subject. Its readability and authority should still come as a welcome replacement to the extra universal misconceptions approximately Asian society.

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215). The notion of a ‘Confucian welfare state’ has been accepted by other social policy analysts such as Saunders who argues that it rests on ‘the principles of familial responsibility and obligation’ (1996: 4). In sum, we can discern three versions of positive ‘welfare Orientalism’ which are currently influential in shaping perceptions of East Asian welfare systems. First, there is an instrumental version common among Western politicians who regard East Asian welfare systems as providing useful lessons for Western societies.

For instance, can we regard the level of public expenditure as a measure of a government’s commitment to equality and equity (OECD 1985: 26)? More importantly, the public expenditure approach does not provide any explanation for how East Asian countries have come up with particular systems of social welfare. Some scholars have already raised questions about the methodological viability of the expenditure approach in the study of social policy, arguing that comparative research based exclusively on public expenditure necessarily provides a biased picture.

There is also evidence of a growing lack of confidence in the region itself, as economists there remark, for example, on the putative advantages of the Anglo-American policy of labour market ‘flexibility’. 17 Conclusion We can summarise our argument quite briefly. While they share certain common features, East Asian welfare systems are not homogeneous and one should be cautious about over-simplification; they have serious deficiencies as well as strong points; and they have relied heavily on distinctive social, demographic, political and economic conditions which may not be present elsewhere and are in any case under threat in East Asia itself.

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