Titel: Healthy democracies : welfare politics in ...
Einband: Soft cover
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Do the pressures of economic globalization undermine the welfare state? Contrary to the expectations of many analysts, Taiwan and South Korea have embarked on a new trajectory, toward a strengthened welfare state and universal inclusion. In Healthy Democracies, Joseph Wong offers a political explanation for health care reform in these two countries. He focuses specifically on the ways in which democratic change in Taiwan and South Korea altered the incentives and ultimately the decisions of policymakers and social policy activists in contemporary health care debates.Wong uses extensive field research and interviews to explore both similarities and subtle differences in the processes of political change and health care reform in Taiwan and South Korea. During the period of authoritarian rule, he argues, state leaders in both places could politically afford to pursue selective social policies―reform was piecemeal and health care policy outcomes far from universal. Wong finds that the introduction of democratic reform changed the political logic of social policy reform: vote-seeking politicians needed to promote popular policies, and health care reform advocates, from bureaucrats to grassroots activists, adapted to this new political context. In Wong's view, the politics of democratic transition in Taiwan and South Korea has served as an effective antidote to the presumed economic imperatives of social welfare retrenchment during the process of globalization.From the Back Cover:
"The last decade has seen renewed interest in the politics of social policy outside the advanced industrial states. Much of the work on East Asia has focused on the limited nature of welfare commitments in the region. Joseph Wong's study of the politics of health care in South Korea and Taiwan shows that these images need to be revised. A new democratic politics is in fact leading to fundamental revisions of the social contract. This is the best book yet on the changing contours of the East Asian welfare state."—Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego
"In this pioneering book, Joseph Wong provides a fine explanation of how decent health-care systems developed in South Korea and Taiwan. He also demonstrates a point that once would have been taken for granted but that is now counterintuitive: democratization and welfare state expansion go together."--John Creighton Campbell, University of Michigan
"Healthy Democracies does for health policy in the ‘late’ welfare state what an earlier generation of books did for industrial policy in the developmental state. While Joseph Wong synthesizes and extends the current literature on welfare state reform, he goes well beyond it, drawing on his own extensive archival research, interviews, and surveys. In particular he posits democratization as an independent variable and explains how variant paths of transition in South Korea and Taiwan led to broadly similar—but in important ways different—outcomes in terms of social welfare policy and the politics of democratic participation."—Karl Fields, author of Enterprise and the State in Korea and Taiwan
"This is the most careful and focused account I’ve seen of Asian social and welfare policy reform. Joseph Wong argues that there is a qualitative difference between the health and welfare measures taken during early authoritarian rule and those taken since democratization, demonstrating the close link between democratic transition and the preemptive and anticipatory nature of elite health care reform."—Frederic Deyo, Binghamton University
"Joseph Wong's meticulously researched book compares the consequences of democratic breakthroughs in Taiwan and South Korea from a surprisingly understudied perspective—welfare reform. He demonstrates how the political competition at the core of democracy has compelled states to redirect their energy away from economic development to quality-of-life issues such as social welfare, particularly health care."—Thomas Gold, University of California, Berkeley, author of State and Society in the Taiwan Miracle and Remaking Taiwan: Society and the State since the End of Martial Law
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