Chapter 9 Conclusion: taming the untamed
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All five economies have pursued the goal of building a strong nation, competitive economy and coherent society. While these goals may not be uncommon to many other economies, they were particularly relevant and critical for East Asian economies as they experienced either war or colonialism or both. Here, social policy has been an integral part of their strategy to achieve these goals. At the early stage of their development, the benefits of social policy were rather narrowly defined in terms of what social policy institutions could do to grow the national economy. At the same time, social policy institutions have also played an important role in shaping the way people normalise their way of life. Resorting to state support is considered as a last resort measure through income support provisions while meritocracy is promoted through the educational opportunities.

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