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Title: Explaining welfare development in East Asia by using set-theoretic methods : East Asia in transition
Author: Yang, Nan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 5699
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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After Gøsta Esping-Andersen published his classic thesis The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism in 1990, comparative welfare research entered a flourishing period. Compared to this, the comparative study of East Asian welfare systems has remained relatively underdeveloped. Particularly, during and after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, East Asia’s economic and social structures came under strain, and their social progress faced many challenges, which sparked new debates regarding the crisis and its social consequences. The classic Productivist Welfare Capitalism (PWC) thesis faced a fundamental challenge as part of these debates. Drawing on the PWC thesis, this thesis theoretically and empirically explored the welfare developments and reforms of East Asian states in this context. The analysis of welfare systems focuses on the debates of the distinction between ‘productive’ and ‘protective’ dimensions of welfare. As such, six key policy fields, education, health-care services, family policy, old-age pensions, housing and the protective labour market policy, of six states, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, over the past two decades are explored by set-theoretic methods. First, employing fuzzy-set ideal type analysis (fsITA) it is argued that it is inappropriate to talk about a single, homogeneous welfare model in East Asia. East Asian states have distinctive patterns of welfare development often combining ‘productive’ and ‘protective’ welfare policies. What is more, after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, social protection became a more important aspect of welfare systems across East Asian states. Second, the reasons for the diverse developmental trajectories are examined by employing fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Here, the findings suggest that in contrast to the PWC thesis, economic growth was not a necessary condition for welfare development in East Asia. Instead, it is argued that welfare development can occur under both weak and strong socio-economic conditions in combination with demographic conditions and the level of globalisation. This thesis thus advances current debates in the literature on East Asian welfare models and development and sets the stage for future research.
Supervisor: Kühner, Stefan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available