The question whether Asian welfare types can be classified as distinctly ‘productivist’ has remained subject to lively debates: in East Asia, the recent implementation of social rights-based public policy innovations – including working family support – as a response to rising inequalities, welfare expectations and accelerating social change has been well documented; similarly, South East Asian and South Asian economies have featured much more frequently in comparative social policy analysis as policymakers have sought to address persisting chronic poverty, a diminishing demographic dividend and burdensome epidemiological transitions via integrating human capital formation with social protection measures. Yet, far from a unifying convergence of these social policy trends in the post-Millennium Development Goals era, the global perspective we take in this article suggests continued variation and difference, with a multiplicity of forms of globalizations encountered and/or engendered in diverse contexts. As a consequence, variegated and path-dependent patterns of social development continue to persist across Asian economies. These findings, in turn, address major issues of our time, for they speak to the broader question of what analytical bases and research strategies can best reveal the complexities of (and interactions between) national, extra-national and transnational drivers of welfare formation and development under contemporary but diverse conditions.
Bibliographical noteFunding: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Grant Number: ES/L005336/1
- Asian social development
- Global social policy