(15 April 2014) – The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung foundation has published a paper by Gabriele Köhler on East and South Asian trajectories and approaches to the welfare state.
The author offers for consideration several hypotheses regarding welfare states, and then looks at the Asian welfare state experience. She uses the notion of the welfare state as an explicitly normative point of departure. Then, she examines current welfare state approaches found in Asia and attempts to classify and gauge them.
The brief contends that Asia is currently an interesting region in terms of the evolution of welfare states. This is because of massive deprivations on the one hand, and an unprecedented range of social policy initiatives and innovations on the other.
According to Gabriele Köhler, one can distinguish five types of developmental welfare states in Asia, which all have in common a response – however varied – to poverty, vulnerability, social exclusion, demographic challenges, ecological stress, and to a lesser extent to income disparities.