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South Korea – Shifting away from the productivist/developmental status of welfare? : a study on welfare in South Korea

Schwitzer, D. (2012) South Korea – Shifting away from the productivist/developmental status of welfare? : a study on welfare in South Korea.

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Abstract:In this research I want to study if the South Korean welfare regime is still productivist in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis as it was characterized by Holliday (2000) or if the regime becomes more liberal or conservative. The focus of the analysis is laid on the welfare mix, which entail the different sources of welfare such as the state, the market and the family, on the fields of education and health care. Welfare states as such emerged first in Europe. As one of the first known welfare states in Europe, Germany’s welfare policies were mainly shaped by Otto von Bismarck, who introduced welfare policies such as pension schemes and health insurances in the 1880’s. Other European countries followed the “Bismarck model” by introducing similar welfare policies. Since then the state was central in providing social benefits to its citizens. The state commitment of providing welfare was the step towards welfare states guaranteeing a variable degree of social rights and social protection. In recent times, literature discussed about different forms of welfare and made up models to cluster states. Esping- Andersen (1990) distinguishes between three models of welfare states in Europe. The three models will be described later in the section of European welfare states. In contrast to the European welfare states, Asian states were initially not engaged in providing social benefits to their people. Enterprises and families seem to be the main source of welfare. Due to those characteristics and the link towards economic productivity, Holliday (2000) coined the term “productivist welfare” regime for the special welfare state entity presented in East Asia. In 1997/98, a financial crisis hit East Asia. The response of the Asian states was the introduction of new social policies. Especially, South Korea unleashed huge potentials of new social policies. Scientists like Kwon & Holliday (2007) and Wilding (2008) argue therefore that the new kind of social policies in East Asia could mean a transition away from the productivist regime. This study will analyze to what extent the welfare mix has shifted from the productivist regime after the Asian financial crisis with data from the OECD and other international organizations over the time frame of 1990 until 2012.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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