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Vol. 6 The Journal of Social Policy and Labor Studies (Shakai-seisaku Gakkai shi)


HOME > PUBLICATIONS > Early Journals > The Journal of Social Policy and Labor Studies (Shakai-seisaku Gakkai shi) (1999-2007)

Re-shaping the Welfare State for the 21st Century:  on the Recent Developments in Comparative Welfare Research


This article reviews the recent developments in comparative welfare state research, aiming to foresee how the welfare state could be reshaped in the ongoing globalization of capital markets.Firstly, the theoretical breakthrough accomplished by Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s well-known welfare regime theory is analyzed, compared to the previous phases in comparative welfare state research.What intended by his theory is, it is argued, not just to find a typology of welfare states, but to evaluate adaptabilities of the different types of welfare state in the changing international environment.Secondly, the validity of the welfare state regime theory to analyze the East Asian experiences of welfare state development is considered.Although the welfare state regime theory has been biased toward the Western experiences, still it is possible to find approximate locations of the East Asian welfare states, like Japan, in the comparative spectrum of the welfare state regime theory.Thirdly, theoretical capacity of the welfare state regime theory to prospect possible futures of welfare states is discussed.The concept of ‘decommodification’, which is principal component of the theory, should be re-defined more clearly in order to assess the ‘workfare’ reforms in the recent welfare state politics.



Historical Perspectives of ‘Mixed Economy of Welfare’ :Individual and Collectivity in the British Welfare System


The pluralistic approach of ‘mixed economy of welfare’ provides a new framework for examining welfare in the past as well as that in future.This paper aims to show what possibilities the angle can develop for historical research of welfare in Britain.First, it reveals the continuity between the Poor Law and the welfare state, which gave the British welfare system the long-standing and unique character as a ‘minimal, residual state-administered provision combined with self-help’.Secondly it uncovers that ‘mutualist’ and ‘associational’ culture, as embodied in trade unions, friendly societies and cooperatives, played very important roles in establishing the institutions of state welfare.Lastly, it validates the significance of the ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’ basis of the welfare state.This includes ‘civic virtue’, ‘good society’ and ‘active participation’, proclaimed by ‘Idealism’ in the late-nineteenth century.In conclusion, the `mixed economy of welfare’ approach can explain that the social foundations were crucial for establishing the welfare state, and that every welfare measure, either statutory or private, was intended to provide a safety net of securing multiple collectivities as tightly as possible in the society.



Transforming the Concepts of Workfare and Welfare state

Takehiko IKEGAMI

Workfare means the requirement of working activities in order to receive welfare benefits.The United States has introduced the “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”(TANF) block grants based on the philosophy of workfare.However, the narrow-based workfare is criticized as punishing welfare recipients who are not responsible for their lack of jobs.And workfare has wider meanings now, including Swedish type of “active labor market policies.”In this article, I introduce a new concept of workfare.The broad-based workfare is a system of social safety net which is a combination of works and various welfare programs through public finance system.In particular, I emphasize the importance of universal programs as well as selective ones.Universal type of social services (e.g. education, nursing, health, environment, etc.) are services for cooperation in the communities.They are supplied by the local governments and the residents must contribute to the cooperation by paying taxes instead of working.The main local tax will be the personal income tax.It’s because the residents with high income have more benefits than those with low income by delegating the cooperative services to local governments and spending time on private economic activities.



Welfare State and Social Administration & Finance:Changing Welfare State and New Public Management


Welfare state has transformed itself in a various manner in a long-term perspective, as the underlying financial conditions changed.There has been a crucial time as the role of the government and the market changes.More recently, so-called “globalization” has brought the attention where the welfare state could not function as one nation alone.

In retrospect, both the government and the market have reformed its function over the last century.As for the government, it is obvious that the management function and the service delivery function are well required by the market.On the other hand, the market seeks to create a brand-new system with the cooperation of the government.Now we enter the new era, where the government and the market co-establish a new framework and build a mutual relationship.Yet, there seems to be many concerns over this new collaboration.

The present paper, under the title of Welfare State and Social Administration & Finance, discusses the status quo of changing welfare state and emerging New Public Management (NPM).The NPM has the power to drive the welfare state transformation.It introduces to the governmental activities with the market forces and private management techniques.The paper also deals with the British community care reform by an empirical approach, focusing on creating quasi-market for the care services.Some of the defects of the quasi-market are further discussed.



The East Asian Welfare States and their New Challenges: with Focus on Japan, Korean and Taiwan


The East Asian welfare states of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are undergoing major transformations in response to economic globalization, political democratization, and changes related to demographic and gender relations.While these transformations show many similarities with other western welfare states (for example, in forms of decentralization, deregulation, and a greater mix of the public and private sector provisions), there are also some aspects that are unique to them.For example, unlike many of the western welfare states, there has been a visible expansion of the welfare state in the recent years as the state took on a greater share of the social security and social welfare responsibilities.These features suggest that while these East Asian welfare states may possess features that are common to most other post-industrial societies, they also retain characteristics that are unique to East Asia.

This paper examines the recent welfare state transformations in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.The first part of the paper looks at some of the common features:1) the family centered welfare regime; 2) the political economy based on the concept of the developmental state; and 3) similar economic, political and social/demographic pressures.The second part of the paper discusses in more detail the specific pressures that are stimulating each of these three welfare states in the direction of expansion.



Japanese Welfare State and Equality, from the Viewpoint of Comparative Gender Analysis


This paper analyzes and characterizes the Keizai Senryaku Kaigi’s (an Advisory Council for the Prime Minister on Economic Strategy), policy recommendations relating to social safety net using the perspective of comparative gender analysis of social policies.Submitted in February 1999, the Keizai Senryaku Kaigi’s report demanded a transformation of the “Japanese-type system of society overvaluing equality of results” into “healthy and creative competitive society”, but this directive has largely been neglected by the bureaucrats. It has also been questioned whether or not and to what extent Japanese society “overvalues equality” in terms of distribution of income, assets and status. The recommendations of the Advisory Council are quite likely to be revived and respected, however, with the coming of Koizumi cabinet and the appointment of Keiou University professor Heizou Takenaka, who played a key role in Keizai Senryaku Kaigi, as Minister of Economy and Finance.My analysis shows that notwithstanding their rhetoric and many policy measures of libertarianism, the Keizai Senryaku Kaigi’s recommendations do not part from patriarchal conservatism, and would not shift the position of Japanese welfare state, from being based strongly Strongly on the male-breadwinner model.



Significance of the Welfare State in Social Welfare


This paper discusses the significance of the welfare state from the viewpoint of the history of social welfare.The welfare state, taking UK as a model, has had universalist and comprehensive welfare systems against “Five Giants,”and added later a system of personal social services by enacting in 1970.The welfare state was brought about by the democracy enhanced in 1940s through the war against Fascist countries, which was expressed in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.At the same time, “Five Giants” and the needs for personal social services had already grown serious problems in the period between the two world wars, and the Labour government after World War 2 responded to the demands of the people as necessities.The role of the government was great and indispensable in building the welfare state.After the first oil shock, most welfare states, being faced with financial difficulty, had to cut welfare expenditure to some extent.Nevertheless, no nation has perceived that welfare states became unnecessary.Mixed economy including commercialization became popular among some politicians and researchers, and many nations had to introduce it into welfare policies due to financial deficit, creating many negative problems, especially in personal social services.



Strategy of Welfare States and Redesigning of the Social Security Systems in Japan


This paper’s objective is to bridge the comparative analysis with the arguments how to redesign the social security systems in Japan.Two important strategic variables, universalism & selectivism and ‘workfare’ are examined to clarify the Japan’s features.

In Japan, facing the budgetary restraint, the scope of the social assistance program, a typical selective provision in nature, has been narrowed down since the year of 1981, while a long term care system for the frail old was inaugurated on the universal insurance basis in 2000.This is not so common in other states, where more targeted measures have been tried.

The other variable, ‘workfare’ has been substitutable way for most states, irrespective of the level of the economic development and the type of welfare regimes.It is a reflection of the policy orientation in the global economy.

Japan could be featured as a ‘workfare state’ until the 1980’s.Nevertheless, partly because of the high unemployment rates in these ten years named the lost decade, the workfare with the high level corporate welfare seems not to work effectively any more.It means that an expectation to safety nets, especially unemployment insurance and social assistance systems as the last resort, is growing.This is why it is urgent to change the above two systems wholly to deal with new situations and to satisfy people’s growing needs.



Towards New Developments in Welfare State Studies


This paper is based on the comments that I made as a discussant at the symposium and examines the following five issues that were raised by six papers presented at the symposium.

1) Methodological problems of welfare state studies.

2) Possibilities of the history of ‘mixed economy of welfare’.

3) New concept of ‘workfare’.

4) The problem of the underdevelopment of childcare and eldercare services in the advanced welfare states.

5) Welfare state and inter-governmental relation.

In examining these issues, reference is also made to the significance of the appearance of various proposals and strategies concerning the welfare state restructuring in Japan.



A Consideration of Welfare State’s Reform


My comment on the forum, “Range of Welfare State,” concerning the panelists’ proposals consists of four questions as below:

1) Should we still consider within the framework of the development of social welfare or should we depict a new socioeconomic system as an alternative to capitalism?                                                                2) Shouldn’t we need to examine the concept of ‘welfare state’ itself fundamentally? 3) What measures could we take to cope with the deterioration of local community?4) Why is the notion, ‘Safety Net,’ necessary instead of the notion of ‘social welfare as a social security system’?

The background of my comment would be epitomized into four points as below:

1) High land price is unique to Japan and causes problems in constructing a model of Welfare State.

2) The rebirth of labor movement and the development of NGO sector would help solve the problems stemmed from gender-bias in Japanese firms.

3) The concept of “out-of-private ownership” should be added to the notions of “out-of-commodification” and “out-of-family.”

4) Issues of Labor status should be examined from the viewpoint of self-fulfillment and in this sense the Holland Model and Sweden Model would be a good model for Japan in 21st century.



A Scope of the <Welfare State>:  

the World Experience of the 20th Century and the Transition to the 21st


First, this paper clarifies the signification of the common theme in the 101st Conference of the Japanese Society of Social Policy:A Scope of the <Welfare State>.Secondly, as one of the two chairmen of this common theme session, I indicate the main points of its six communications and put up some questions about them.Lastly, through this review I attempt to elucidate a scope of the <Welfare State> which cannot be reduced to simple state welfare and consists of <mixed economy of welfare> proper to each country.Therefore, the  <Welfare State> ‘entre guillemets’ means a <Welfare-state Regime> that has been developed throughout the 20th century, particularly after the Second World War and as a product of social policy.It is certainly necessary to emphasize the role of the State in this regime, but a variety intermediary organizations nearer to citizen can and must shoulder the responsibility of welfare in the civil society.Hence, a scope of the <Welfare State> should be considered from the viewpoint of its essential mission that is to boost the sense of solidarity and communality in the citizen so far as it will be reabsorbed by the civil society.