Globalization and Regional Welfare Regimes: The East Asian Case

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This article contributes to the ongoing debate about the impact of globalization on welfare systems across the world. Its argument is that economic globalization alters the global balance of forces compared with the "Golden Age" of welfare capitalism, but that its impact on policies and outcomes is decisively mediated by national and regional "welfare regimes". This argument has been developed in relation to the advanced capitalist countries of the north, but is rarely applied to the south. This article applies the argument to the south through a case study of five economically successful countries in East Asia: Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. It depicts and analyses their welfare regimes using a new conceptual framework developed at the University of Bath. It then considers the impact of the Asian financial crisis as an example of the new risks faced by exposed countries in the global economy. The conclusion is that, despite common, sudden and decisive macroeconomic problems, the social policy reactions have differed across the five countries, in part reflecting variations in their welfare regimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-89
Number of pages27
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • International Linkages to Development
  • General
  • Human Development
  • Role of International Organizations
  • Welfare and Poverty
  • Economic Development
  • Political Economy
  • Human Resources
  • Income Distribution
  • International Economic Order
  • Migration
  • Capitalist Systems


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