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The politics of welfare reform in Japan and Korea, 1990s-2000s : The ratchet mechanism and the sustainability of reform

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  • The politics of welfare reform in Japan and Korea, 1990s-2000s
  • Park, Sung Ho; Osawa, Kimiko
  • American Political Science Association


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Title The politics of welfare reform in Japan and Korea, 1990s-2000s
Similar Titles
Sub Title

The ratchet mechanism and the sustainability of reform

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Park, Sung Ho; Osawa, Kimiko

Publisher

[ Washington, D.C., U.S.]:American Political Science Association

Date 2013-08
Series Title; No APSA 2013 annual meeting paper
Pages 46
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Social Welfare
Government and Law < Political Science
Holding SSRN

Abstract

The political dynamics of welfare reform is one of the topics which have been widely visited in the recent literature of the welfare states in advanced democracies. While most studies have explored the issue by focusing on why and how major reforms could occur in the countries, little attention has been paid yet to another important aspect of the reform dynamics: How and why such reforms, once initiated, could be stabilized without rollback. We present a clue to the question by drawing on the experiences of Japan and South Korea, two OECD countries in East Asia, in recent decades. We find not only the hitherto pro-reform parties maintained their emphasis on the reforms, but conservatives also began to take a more favorable approach to the reform agenda due to their electoral considerations. This eventually promoted a broad political consensus for welfare reforms among major political parties.