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East Asian welfare regimes in transitionFrom Confucianism to globalisation$
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Alan Walker and Chack-kie Wong

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861345523

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861345523.001.0001

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Is welfare unAsian?

Is welfare unAsian?

(p.21) Two Is welfare unAsian?
East Asian welfare regimes in transition

Ruby C.M. Chau

Wai Kam Yu

Policy Press

This chapter tackles a question that lies at the heart of the debate about welfare in East Asian countries: is social welfare un-Asian? With reference to both the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the rest of China, the discussion shows the connection between anti-welfarism and market ideologies. It demolishes the three core assumptions that underpin the claim that welfare is un-Asian: social welfare is underdeveloped in Asia, this underdevelopment is a key factor in the economic success of Asian countries and ‘Asian’ values are antithetical to social welfare. It also shows how the commitment to capitalism of both the Hong Kong SAR and Chinese government is reinforced by globalisation and the Asian economic crisis.

Keywords:   East Asian countries, social welfare, Hong Kong, China, market ideologies, anti-welfarism, globalisation, Asian economic crisis

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