chapter  1
11 Pages

Introduction: the search for a new social policy paradigm: managing changing social expectations and welfare regimes in transition in Greater China

ByKA HO MOK AND MAGGIE K. W. LAU

Arguably the largest body of work in this regard has been that focusing on East Asia, not least because the fl owering of a very active East Asian social policy research network has provided a space for sustained discussion, debate and comparison of welfare regimes in this region. That said, debate about an “East Asian” model has featured prominently since the early 1990s, with some of the earliest critiques of Esping-Andersen’s typology pointing to a potential mismatch between his ideal types and the foundations of welfare systems in the region (Jones, 1993; Goodman et al. , 1998) in which, broadly stated, governments emphasised economic development over social policy. Since then, a substantial body of literature has developed, such the work of Holliday (2000, 2005) and Kwon and Holliday (2007) which challenges Esping-Andersen’s typology. According to Holliday (2000: 711), it is “impossible to place [East Asian cases] in Esping-Andersen’s framework” because a “productivist” world of welfare exists in the region.