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Title: Welfare politics and social policy of coal workers' pneumoconiosis in Britain and South Korea
Author: Yoo, Bumsang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 7406
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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This objective of this thesis is to explore welfare politics and welfare policy in Britain and South Korea (hereafter Korea) focusing on ex-miners with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (hereafter CWP) and laws and institutions concerned (the IIA in 1946 and the CWPS in 1974 in Britain, and the IACI in 1964 and the APPPPW in 1984 in Korea). The reason to choose this group is that they stand at complex conjunction of circumstances - the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the persons injured at work. In addition, the reason to examine laws and institutions concerned is that they contain more general issues of welfare politics. The theories adopted in this thesis are historical institutionalism and power resources theory which together give an important insight about institutions, politics and welfare state. Based on these theories, this thesis defines welfare politics, its determinants and why it may be deficient. The major elements of welfare politics can be characterized as class politics as exemplified in the role of trade unions, social democracy as a basic ideology and social corporatism as a type of political participation and policy-making. Generally there are three major variables in welfare politics; the organization of trade unions and control of their members; left-wing political parties and solidarity between trade unions and the parties; and the institutionalization of social dialogue and social policy. From the above determinants, the concept of ‘the deficiency of politics’ can be defined. Firstly, it is a weakness or extinction of class politics through the exclusion of the labour movement. Secondly, it can be explained by the weakness of progressive political parties in state politics or the lack of solidarity between labour unions and political parties resulting in a difficulty of access to social policy formation by trade unions. Finally, the concept of the ‘deficiency of politics’ is related to a poor legacy of institutions and the weakness or absence of a class compromise system. To summarize the research results, there are differences in the areas of welfare politics and welfare system between Britain and Korea. Welfare politics in Britain on this issue includes elements of class politics, labour politics and exchange politics based on balanced power relations among classes and the corporatist political system. Welfare politics in Korea, however, is characterized by pressure group politics in specific areas and legitimacy politics for national goals based on state corporatism. In addition, welfare politics has established different welfare institutions. Korea has established a residual welfare system while Britain has an institutional system. Furthermore, the institutions regulate their welfare politics in different ways: the interests of ex-miners with CWP are secured through established schemes by trade unions in Britain while in Korea the schemes are operated unfairly by interest groups in the interests of a sub-group of the sufferers. As a result, in Korea, welfare politics based on these politics and institutions leads beneficiaries to distrust the Government, relevant institutions, and even their own organization. Similarly, the distrust which exists in Korean ex-miners with CWP can be understood and explained in terms of social policy which has been formed and is being affected by welfare politics. There are five findings in this thesis. Firstly, the distrustful attitudes of Korean ex-miners with CWP originate from welfare institutions and welfare politics which are closely related. Secondly, the principle of new institutionalism, the correlation between institution and politics, is evident in compensation politics in both Britain and Korea. Thirdly, in an explanation of the Korean welfare state, a power resources model rooted in political economy and corporatism is more persuasive than a cultural approach based upon Confucianism. Fourthly, there are many differences in this policy area between Britain and Korea despite similarities in their welfare state regimes. Fifthly, politics rather than institutions are the dominant explanatory variable.
Supervisor: Parry, Richard. ; Fraser, Neil. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: pneumoconiosis ; industrial diseases ; labor politics ; welfare policies ; institutionalism ; South Korea