This research project deals with the transition of the Korean welfare state paradigm. In summary, this study aims to connect the policy structure of a welfare state with its political and economic sustainability, while discussing a politically and eco ...
This research project deals with the transition of the Korean welfare state paradigm. In summary, this study aims to connect the policy structure of a welfare state with its political and economic sustainability, while discussing a politically and economically sustainable development paradigm for the Korean welfare state. Thus, by adapting a combined methodological approach of both qualitative and quantitative policy analysis of the Korean and western welfare states, this study aims to first, derive the principles of political and economic substantiality, and second, present an academic blueprint for the transition of the Korean welfare state paradigm. In addition, this study examines how multi-dimensional welfare state actors that are critical social issues in the in the current Korean society, such as ageing, low fertility and gender issues, labor market, pension, health systems, must be strategically structured in order to achieve a politically and economically sustainable welfare state.
With such critical awareness, this research develops a new theoretical analytic framework regarding the study of comparative social policy on the Korean welfare system, and compiles experimental studies based on more accurate qualitative and policy data.
To begin with, we have conducted a quantitative analysis of political and economic outcomes depending on the changes in policy structure - cash and services/active policies and passive policies - of various welfare state models. This is because in the case of Korea, despite the expected exponential budget increase in the cash allowance sector, the demand for basic welfare needs has not been fully fulfilled. Thus, productive welfare through employment creation should be simultaneous with the restructuring to social services for the provision of various welfare needs. In order to conduct a quantitative analysis of political and economic outcomes influenced by the changes of policy structures of various welfare state models, we have examined the correlation of the relative proportion of cash allowances to social services to its political and economic outcome. Under such wholistic research directions, our sub-topics include the development of public and private retirement income security systems, the defamilization in welfare states and gender issues, the study of family index relationships, the role of corporations in the welfare state, and the characteristics of Korean welfare politics and the politics of welfare state paradigm transition - understanding Koreans awareness of the welfare state and the cleavages in welfare politics.
Meanwhile, for further theoretical development of welfare state research, there is a need for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. A theoretical evolution along with a more general analysis is possible through the combination of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis is needed to underline the principles of the sustainability of the general welfare state, and policy analysis is a essential approach to recognize how such principles should be applied in the Korean environment.
During the first year of this study, we have focused on the quantitative analysis of the changes in policy structures in various welfare states and its political and economical outcomes, and derived the most sustainable social safety net structure. During the second year, we have connected the quantitatively focused outcome of the first with more detailed structural analysis. Specifically, we have conducted studies on the development of retirement income security systems through a institutional history approach, the decisive factors of the defamilization levels, models of welfare systems and production systems and its correlation to corporate preference and conditions, and finally, the political analysis of welfare reforms in other countries.