Global Challenges and Restructuring
Edited by Gyu-Jin Hwang
Chapter 8: Right Diagnosis and Appropriate Treatment for the Global Financial Crisis? Social Protection Measures and Social Policy Responses in East Asia
8. Right diagnosis and appropriate treatment for the global financial crisis?: Social protection measures and social policy responses in East Asia Ka Ho Mok Introduction Our contemporary world is currently experiencing a global economic crisis and people from different socio-economic backgrounds suffer from various kinds of social and economic consequences. In coping with the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis, most governments in the region hurriedly expanded their social protection projects with substantial help from international organizations for helping those people suffering most from the catastrophe without having fundamental social policy paradigm shifts in East Asia. Despite the growing needs for social protection after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, most of the Asian governments have not drastically changed their approaches in handling the increasingly complex social welfare issues. Thus it is not surprising to see many people still suffered from economic hardship, especially in the midst of the food price crisis before the current global economic crisis broke out in October 2008 (Mok et al., 2009). The principal goal of this chapter is to critically examine whether the selected Asian countries have changed their philosophy of social welfare in helping those who suffer from poverty and other social consequences because of the rapid economic restructuring. More specifically, this chapter sets out against the wider political economy context briefly outlined above to critically examine whether the approaches in social protection have changed in the four East Asian Tigers and China when addressing the social problems resulting from the present economic and financial...
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