Abstracts & Papers in Stream 4

From a liberal standpoint, Hong Kong's welfare model is often seen as an embarrassment. On the other hand, conservatives hail it as a vindication of Hong Kong's free market system. Little consensus is reached on what the model actually is, the features that are unique to itself and what functions it fulfills in society. The paper is an

attempt to delve into these issues. It is argued that after 60 years of trial and error, Hong Kong has developed its special welfare approach that does not resemble the so-called residual paradigm nor the East Asian Welfare Model. The extant system represents a complex mix of residualist strands as well as priciples of universalism and

social equity. Under this system, the distributional effects vary across social classes. By the standards of advanced welfare states, the welfare system is lean but not too mean. In the delivery of welfare, both civil society and the state play important roles. A surprising discovery is that the state plays a bigger role than is commonly conceded. It is also found that the system exhibits considerable stability and effectivess, which can be attributed to broadly distributed benefits that cut across class lines. Nevertheless

the system faces key challenges that demand incremental improvements as well as new answers to emerging problems.

Full paper download: Wong L_Hong Kong Welfare Model.pdf

Social cohesion and social harmony are important social agenda in both the Mainland China and Hong Kong in recent years. In China, the Civil Affairs Bureau is charged with the responsibility to promote social cohesion and social harmony in the midst of rapid economic expansion and rising disparity of wealth. In Hong Kong, both the present and the former Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region used social cohesion and social harmony as a moral campaign to promote social stability. Based on a survey conducted by the authors in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, the authors compared the perceived social cohesion (Bollen, 1984) in the two cities and discuss critically the social implications behind the findings.

2127 respondents returned the questionnaire and 87.7% are considered valid cases for analyses. The Guangzhou respondents scored higher than Hong Kong respondents in all items. The overall average score is 76.78 and 65.47 in Guangzhou and Hong Kong respectively (t=11.135, df=1, p<.001). Besides, women, irrespective of city, also had a significantly stronger sense of cohesion in the community than men in all items except in the item regarding their own district as one of the best districts.

Although social policy in China has been moving from centralized state provisions to a mixed economy of welfare (such as in elderly care and social protection), there remains a relatively stronger state role in social care. In Hong Kong, although the SAR administration put forward the policy objective of progressive development, in which social harmony is developed as a main component, social policy has continued to promote personal responsibilities and social welfare has continued to be punitive. The authors argue that in both cities social cohesion cannot be treated just as a moral and political campaign, but has to be anchored in social policy based on citizenship if social cohesion is to be realized.

Full paper download: Chan S_one country two cities.pdf

This paper outlines existing and emerging forms of social, political, and economic organization in Hong Kong SAR, Mainland China and Korea. Global processes have generated substantial economic growth and intensified international competition. At the same time increasing inequality is also evident, together with shifting patterns of household formation and changes in the age-mix of population. Also increasingly evident is a more complex pattern of welfare pluralism and a redefinition of the roles of the state and civil society. There has been a reconfirmation of the importance of personal and community relationships and governance, and active membership, together with the proliferation of scales, channels and networks through which social interaction and social well-being can be pursued. This paper considers the implications of these developments for the meaning and content of social citizenship and quality of life, particularly at the intersection of gender and ethnicity.

The first section of the paper engages with conceptual debates and discourses around the contested terms governance and citizenship. It also considers various approaches to understanding and measuring quality of life. The remainder of the paper goes on to apply the analytical framework in a comparative East Asian context. p>Full paper download: Kennett P_governance and social citizenship.pdf

Whether or not high levels of welfare spending harms economic performance has long been at the centre of debate within the welfare state development literature both at a theoretical and empirical level. Without reaching an agreement, the emergence of the welfare state in East Asia with low levels of social spending and high economic growth rates has led some commentators to argue that the countries in the region provide a unique model of welfare arrangements, one of the most convincing arguments, to date, has been the East Asian Productivist Welfare Regime. Key to this thesis is the logic that the institutional origin of the East Asian NICs was based a growth-oriented developmental state and the subordinate nature of social policy to economic policy. It therefore rules out the possibility that social policy development may move beyond the functional imperatives confined by economic policy. As a subset of this key theoretical position, its advocates also put forward the argument that it is this productivist welfare regime that makes the East Asian newly emerged welfare states unique. In other words, it presupposes that other advanced welfare states are not productivists in their nature because, by definition, productivist world of welfare capitalism is the polar opposite of the social democratic world in that social policy is privileged in the latter while it is strictly subordinate to the overriding policy objective of economic growth in the former. This paper challenges this view and argues that the passage of time is pushing the countries in the region towards what appears to be prototypical protective welfare states. The post-financial crisis period of 1997 has provided a unique opportunity for these countries to develop their social policy provisions beyond functional imperatives of economic growth although there still remains a wide range of variations between different countries.

This presentation aims to classify 20 welfare states during the periods from 1995 to 2003, based on the social investment strategies, and examines the effects of social investment strategies on the various employment and income distribution related indicators. Social investment strategies are operationalized by the public expenditures of each active labor market policy and family welfare services, and dependent variables are measured by employment rate, women's employment rate, unemployment rate, and gini coefficient. The Fuller-Battese model, an analysis method for the pooled cross-sectional time-series data, is adopted to identify variables predicting changes in dependent variables. As a result of the cluster analysis, welfare states are classified by 4 groups such as the Social Investment States (Sweden, Denmark), the ALMP centered States (Germany, Netherlands), the Family Service centered States (UK, Luxembourg, Australia), and the Liberal Welfare States (US, Japan, Korea). An interaction effect between social investment strategies and income support programs is also founded in expanding employment rate and in reducing unemployment rate. Therefore, the Korean government should maximize its public spending on social investment strategies, such as ALMP and children & women-friendly social policies to improve each citizen's human capital and employability. At the same time, public spending on income support programs should be expanded as well.