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         Abstract
 
South and East Asian Social Policy Experience:Politics and Institutions in the Extension of Social Security
Arjan de Haan and Gita Sabharwal
This article compares the country experiences of evolving social security policies, in China, India and Vietnam, focusing on the institutions that enable or hinder the achievement of these objectives. It discusses the social policy reforms alongside China’s and Vietnam’s impressive economic reform programmes, and India’s post-2004 formulation of inclusive growth. The specific policies discussed include social insurance as part of harmonious society in China, the National Employment Guarantee Scheme under the inclusive growth model in India, and the move towards universal social protection in Vietnam. For the comparison, we use an analytical framework developed by Ian Gough, University of Bath, which emphasizes that evolving social policy needs to be understood as a result of the interaction of ‘5 I’s’: industrialization, interests, institutions, ideas, and international influence. While there is a great deal of path-dependency in the evolvement of social policies, they are contingent upon economic policies. Social policies are also central in shaping market forces. We take a cross-sectoral perspective on social policy, which enables a better understanding of the context in which policy choices are made. This article compares the country experiences of evolving social security policies, in China, India and Vietnam, focusing on the institutions that enable or hinder the achievement of these objectives. It discusses the social policy reforms alongside China’s and Vietnam’s impressive economic reform programmes, and India’s post-2004 formulation of inclusive growth. The specific policies discussed include social insurance as part of harmonious society in China, the National Employment Guarantee Scheme under the inclusive growth model in India, and the move towards universal social protection in Vietnam. For the comparison, we use an analytical framework developed by Ian Gough, University of Bath, which emphasizes that evolving social policy needs to be understood as a result of the interaction of ‘5 I’s’: industrialization, interests, institutions, ideas, and international influence. While there is a great deal of path-dependency in the evolvement of social policies, they are contingent upon economic policies. Social policies are also central in shaping market forces. We take a cross-sectoral perspective on social policy, which enables a better understanding of the context in which policy choices are made. This article compares the country experiences of evolving social security policies, in China, India and Vietnam, focusing on the institutions that enable or hinder the achievement of these objectives. It discusses the social policy reforms alongside China’s and Vietnam’s impressive economic reform programmes, and India’s post-2004 formulation of inclusive growth. The specific policies discussed include social insurance as part of harmonious society in China, the National Employment Guarantee Scheme under the inclusive growth model in India, and the move towards universal social protection in Vietnam. For the comparison, we use an analytical framework developed by Ian Gough, University of Bath, which emphasizes that evolving social policy needs to be understood as a result of the interaction of ‘5 I’s’: industrialization, interests, institutions, ideas, and international influence. While there is a great deal of path-dependency in the evolvement of social policies, they are contingent upon economic policies. Social policies are also central in shaping market forces. We take a cross-sectoral perspective on social policy, which enables a better understanding of the context in which policy choices are made. This article compares the country experiences of evolving social security policies, in China, India and Vietnam, focusing on the institutions that enable or hinder the achievement of these objectives. It discusses the social policy reforms alongside China’s and Vietnam’s impressive economic reform programmes, and India’s post-2004 formulation of inclusive growth. The specific policies discussed include social insurance as part of harmonious society in China, the National Employment Guarantee Scheme under the inclusive growth model in India, and the move towards universal social protection in Vietnam. For the comparison, we use an analytical framework developed by Ian Gough, University of Bath, which emphasizes that evolving social policy needs to be understood as a result of the interaction of ‘5 I’s’: industrialization, interests, institutions, ideas, and international influence. While there is a great deal of path-dependency in the evolvement of social policies, they are contingent upon economic policies. Social policies are also central in shaping market forces. We take a cross-sectoral perspective on social policy, which enables a better understanding of the context in which policy choices are made. This article compares the country experiences of evolving social security policies, in China, India and Vietnam, focusing on the institutions that enable or hinder the achievement of these objectives. It discusses the social policy reforms alongside China’s and Vietnam’s impressive economic reform programmes, and India’s post-2004 formulation of inclusive growth. The specific policies discussed include social insurance as part of harmonious society in China, the National Employment Guarantee Scheme under the inclusive growth model in India, and the move towards universal social protection in Vietnam. For the comparison, we use an analytical framework developed by Ian Gough, University of Bath, which emphasizes that evolving social policy needs to be understood as a result of the interaction of ‘5 I’s’: industrialization, interests, institutions, ideas, and international influence. While there is a great deal of path-dependency in the evolvement of social policies, they are contingent upon economic policies. Social policies are also central in shaping market forces. We take a cross-sectoral perspective on social policy, which enables a better understanding of the context in which policy choices are made.


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