Handbook on East Asian Social Policy
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Handbook on East Asian Social Policy

Edited by Misa Izuhara

Dramatic socio-economic transformations over the last two decades have brought social policy and social welfare issues to prominence in many East Asian societies. Since the 1990s and in response to national as well as global pressure, there have been substantial developments and reforms in social policy in the region but the development paths have been uneven. Until recently, comparative analysis of East Asian social policy tends to have focused on the established welfare state of Japan and the emerging welfare regimes of four ‘Tiger Economies’. Much of the recent debate indeed preceded China’s re-emergence onto the world economy. In this context, this Handbook brings China more fully into the contemporary social policy debates in East Asia. Organised around five themes from welfare state developments, to theories and methodologies, to current social policy issues, the Handbook presents original research from leading specialists in the fields, and provides a fresh and updated perspective to the study of social policy.
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Chapter 18: Housing policy in East Asia

Richard Ronald


Early housing interventions in East Asian countries largely focused on the rapid delivery of high volume, typically high-rise, apartments for working households (see Agus, Doling and Lee, 2002). This drove urbanization and industrialization, sustaining the rapid pace of modernization and economic growth. Direct state initiatives also facilitated the clearance of slum housing and increasing land values, supporting the growth of Asian cities as economic nodes. Large-scale interventions aligned with the objectives of development orientated East Asian governments and their capacity to appropriate land and coordinate resources between public agencies and private corporations in the supply of housing. The creation of public companies like the Hong Kong Housing Authority, the Japan Housing Corporation, the Korean National Housing Corporation and the Singapore Housing Development Board facilitated the mass construction of homes at an unparalleled speed and scale. Nonetheless, housing policies and public housing agencies have not only been fundamental to economic development, but also fitted with social development and welfare provision strategies (Forrest and Lee, 2004; Groves, Murie and Watson, 2007;Lee, 2008; Ronald, 2008).

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