In a period of rapid change for welfare states around the world, this insightful book offers a comparative study of three historically small welfare states: the US, Japan, and South Korea. Featuring contributions from international distinguished scholars, this book looks beyond the larger European welfare states to unpack the many common political and institutional characteristics that have constrained welfare state development in industrialized democracies.
From the welfare state’s origins in Europe, the idea of human welfare being organized through a civilized, institutionalized and uncorrupt state has caught the imagination of social activists and policy-makers around the world. This is particularly influential where rapid social development is taking place amidst growing social and gender inequality. This book reflects on the growing academic and political interest in global social policy and ‘globalizing welfare’, and pays particular attention to developments in Northern European and North-East Asian countries.
The fast changing economic climate is creating substantial pressure for
welfare state restructuring worldwide. Yet the discussion regarding
challenges faced and the responses required has been confined to the
‘standard welfare states’ in the West. This book examines whether these
challenges also apply to the countries in the East, whether these countries
have generated different responses to their Western counterparts, and
whether they have undergone a process of regime transformation while
responding to these pressures.