© 2017

Familial Foundations of the Welfare State

Building the National Health Insurance Systems in South Korea and Taiwan


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Hye Suk Wang
    Pages 1-18
  3. Hye Suk Wang
    Pages 139-146
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 147-151

About this book


This book situates culture as a determining factor in the development of diverse welfare states, exploring the impact of traditional familialism on South Korean and Taiwanese programs. This approach provides an important alternative to studies that focus on formal variables– such as industrialization, state intervention, and resource mobilization– that do not explain the key differences between the similar programs. Throughout this book, Wang looks into both the historical development and the present situation of medical welfare programs in South Korea and Taiwan, and she highlights the importance of families in these programs’ development. As East Asian societies continue to age while experiencing fewer births, the search for the most suitable, sustainable, and desirable welfare model in each country will become ever more pressing. Academics and practitioners alike will find this refreshing approach to analysis ideal for building welfare institutions that reflect societal values in addition to economic conditions.


South Korea Taiwan welfare familialism health insurance welfare states East Asian welfare states Asian culture familial norms

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Yonsei UniversitySeoulKorea (Republic of)

About the authors

Hye Suk Wang is Research Professor in the Institute of East and West Studies, Yonsei University, South Korea. Her research is mainly focused on cultural economic sociology, including organ donation and East Asian Diaspora, and her writings have appeared in the Journal of East Asia Studies and the Asia Pacific Journal for Social Work and Development.

Bibliographic information