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The Korean Welfare State: Social Investment in an Aging Society

The birth and remarkable expansion of Korean social welfare policy over the last several decades has taken place amidst the socio-economic burdens of a rapidly aging society. This book surveys these developments through the analytic lens of the Social Investment State, under which contemporary policies have altered the essential character of the 20th century welfare states, which had provided a counterforce to capitalism. In contrast, the Social Investment State is seen as backing policies designed to advance capitalism by promoting labor force participation, the growth of human capital, individual responsibility and economic development. In examining the modern context and development of the Korean welfare state, this book is divided into three sections that focus on the socio-political evolution, the core policies of the Korean welfare state, and the contemporary policy challenges of Korea’s aging society. The first section traces the socio-political evolution of the Korean welfare state over the last three decades. The second section surveys the core policies of the Korean welfare state. The third section explores several key policy challenges encountered by the Korean approach to social investment as it seeks to address the demands of social protection in a rapidly aging society. The volume concludes with a postscript that reviews the contemporary Korean discourse, which goes beyond the social investment state to the political interests in a universal basic income policy.


Introduction | Kyungbae Chung and Neil Gilbert

Part I Evolution of Korean Social Policy:

  1. Development Trajectory and Future Directions of the Korean Welfare State | Eugene Yeo
    The Inclusive Welfare State In Korea | Heung-Seek Cho
    Welfarenomics: Inclusive Capitalism | Sang-Mok Suh

Part II The Policy Pillars of the Welfare State

  1. Income Security System in Korea | Kyungbae Chung
  2. National Health Insurance | Soonman Kwon

Part III Policy Challenges of A Rapidly Aging Society

  1. Long-Term Care: Experience and Challenges | Jaeeun Seok
  2. Inclusive Community Care Policies in Korea | Yeong-shin Jang
  3. Filial Piety: Continuity and Change | Kyu Taik Sung
  4. Confident Aging: A Solution for Longevity with Dignity | Sang Chul Park

Postscript: Korean Social Policy Debate on Universal Basic Income

Source: publisher’s website

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