Chapter 16: Challenges and directions: building a comparative quantitative dataset for East Asian social policies
There is a large corpus of comparative studies on welfare states (see, for example, Wilensky, 1975; Korpi, 1983; Orloff and Skocpol, 1984; Esping-Andersen, 1990). Since the 1950s, many scholars have compared different welfare states with regard to how countries cope with social welfare needs and deal with the problems associated with modernization, industrialization , and changes in civil society. More importantly, many studies have recognized temporal and spatial variations in the ways in which societies construct their own social welfare programs. The first generation of welfare state research compared welfare state development in Western countries by examining state expenditure on social welfare or welfare efforts (Flora and Heidenheimer, 1981). Influenced by theories related to modernization and industrialization, many early studies (see, for example, Wilensky, 1975) explained different levels of welfare state development through comparisons of the different levels of industrialization or economic growth in different countries. Despite strong criticism of the assumptions of modernization theories (Quadagno, 1987), subsequent studies, including those taking a Marxist approach, have continued to rely on welfare state expenditure as a basis for comparing the nature of welfare states. The first generation of comparative studies contributed to the development of the field of social welfare studies by facilitating comparisons of welfare state development in selected Western countries, using a relatively simple quantitative measure (Wilensky, 1975; Flora and Heidenheimer,1981; Castles, 1982; Pampel and Williamson, 1988).
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