Abstracts & Papers in Stream 3

Much of the debate in recent years concerning the significance of new democratic states is premised on the assumption that democracy and development are complementary and forward-looking concepts. This is in marked contrast to the earlier prevailing view that development goals in developing countries could best be assured by strong states with little reference to the level of democratisation or civil society. The empirical justification for this view lay in some palpable success of rapid economic growth, engineered by the developmental state in East Asia such as Japan and South Korea, where social policy was subordinated to economic development. However, strong states are also bound to adapt to changing social, political and economic realities for effective governance. The state-led late developers needed to accommodate democracy and globalisation and hence to adjust their social policies to meet political pressures and new socioeconomic challenges. To this end, this paper will investigate triangular interactions between development, democracy, and social policy through the comparative study of Japan and Korea. Particular attention is paid to differences in the structure of social politics between the two countries. The paper also examines the deliberative governance of strong states in maximizing the compliance and cooperation of societal actors for the sake of achieving economic and social goals.

Gender, Governance and Citizenship in East Asian Societies

This study seeks to explore the context in which governments and their citizens interact, looking at transformation and complexity and the interplay of different forms of power, and of the differentiated capacity between men and women to make use of the possibilities of citizenship. Drawing on a comparative and integrated analytical framework, this qualitative research examines the economic, political, legal and social dimensions associated with gender, governance and citizenship in four East Asian societies: Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong SAR,  South Korea and Taiwan.  The empirical focus is on the interface between social security systems, labour market policy and care strategies and the extent to which the relationship between these different domains enhances or limits the opportunities and citizenship status of women.  Social security systems and care regimes can be seen to be embedded within a wider context shaped by power relations, institutional arrangements and values which are contingent.  Harrison (2001) utilized the notion of social regulation to refer to structured and institutionalized relations of power involving mechanisms, practices and influential assumptions through which people's lives may be constrained, confined, supported or liberated.  Women's citizenship status can thus be linked with gendered patterns of inequality associated with income and wealth, labour market position and participation, the discourse around the family and the male breadwinner model, and care strategies.  This in turn can be linked to institutional discrimination, inadequate resources, and cultural expectations.    This paper will draw on these elements to explore and compare the citizenship status of women in different East Asian contexts
In general, women are participating in the labour market in greater numbers than ever before, are better educated, wealthier, marrying later and having fewer children in the context of substantial economic and social change in the last few decades. This research provides new insights into the ways in which governance and citizenship processes and practices interact by investigating the different implications for men and women, and promotes a novel understanding of the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, as well as the changing boundaries of citizenship.

This article aims to provide a deep understanding of dynamics of pension politics in South Korea in the last decade. Since the introduction of the National Pension in Korea in 1988, there have been two major reforms in 1999 and in 2007. While much has been written on the 1999 reform, it seems that the existing accounts cannot successfully explain the 2007 reform. Therefore, in order to explain both reforms, this research will firstly set the context by bringing the argument of developmentalism and developmental welfarism. Subsequently, it will propose a conceptual framework for understanding pension politics based on three dimensions of security, i.e. social-institutional-financial security, which generate incentives for actors to form or reformulate a political coalition to achieve their objectives.

The attention will be mainly paid to the role of bureaucrats who have played the crucial role in welfare policy-making, and it will also focus on the changing interaction between bureaucrats and political parties or civic groups. Specifically, this research will highlight the role of the bureaucrats from a viewpoint of welfare bureaucrats who have actively sought the institutional security of pension reforms. By formulating welfare coalitions, particularly political parties before the 2007 reform, welfare bureaucrats successfully rationalised and legitimised reforms. Methodologically, it will use qualitative methods reviewing all relevant documents and in-depth interviews with key policy/political actors. This article will argue that although it appeared that the role of bureaucrats significantly weakened together with waning developmentalism, rejuvenating bureaucrats once again played an important role in breaking the deadlock in 2007 and simultaneously political parties came to the front line of welfare politics, which might be a sign of the emergence of modern welfare politics in South Korea.      

Assistant Professor Won Sub Kim
Department of Sociology
Korea University,

Assistant Professor Young Jun Choi
Department of Public Administration
Korea University

Full paper: 0100601_Pension_reforms_in_2007.pdf