Chapter 1 Introduction to the Research Agenda for East Asian Social Policy
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Since the turn of the millennium, significant social, economic, political and technological transformations have brought policy issues to prominence in East Asian societies as part of the globalisation process. Both internal and external pressures, which constantly demand policy responses, are part of the driving forces shifting contemporary research agenda in the respective fields of social policy in East Asia. This opening chapter sets a regional context highlighting socio-economic changes and critical events in the region over the last two decades. We have witnessed both converging and diverging social policy development and reforms across East Asian societies. The chapter also raises questions about the sustainability of previous patterns of welfare provision based on stable families and labour market participation. It covers the structure of the volume as each subsequent chapter explores different areas of contemporary social policy research agenda in East Asia.

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