Workfare in the undemocratic states: The case of China

Chak Kwan CHAN*, Kinglun NGOK

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the problems caused by workfare in China. It is found that China’s public assistance scheme is managed mainly by volunteers and government officials who do not necessarily possess relevant qualifications. Also, welfare claimants’ benefits can be ceased without going through a rigorous procedure; they can hardly challenge the decisions of the authority because China’s judicial system is interfered by central and local senior officials. This article concludes that workfare is a product of Western democratic countries; its implementation in undemocratic states will only increase power abuses among welfare bureaucrats and threaten the rights of claimants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-493
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number4
Early online date16 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrative litigations
  • residents’ committee
  • street office
  • the minimum living standard scheme
  • undemocratic state
  • welfare appeals
  • workfare


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