South Korea: Balancing Social Welfare in Post-industrial Society


Korean society is experiencing significant transformation as the country faces the challenges of global integration. The financial crisis of 1997 was a costly wake-up call, alarming in the astonishing extent of the interconnectedness of the global economy. It demonstrated that no country can pursue development without regarding intersocietal standards or the requirements of global capital. And, at the same time, its deleterious social consequences made a significant transformation in the welfare system in South Korea. While the Korean government faithfully followed the neoliberal suggestions, attached to the IMF’s lending programs, it earnestly pursued an expansion and consolidation of social welfare programs as well. The crisis accelerated the process of transition from the precrisis ‘developmental state’ model to the ‘democratic-welfare-capitalist state’ (Lee, 2004) or ‘to the inclusive developmental welfare state’ (Kwon, 2007), in the context of the government’s welfare reforms. These changes in themselves will shape social welfare in the country, as it traverses into the global century.


National Health Insurance Korean Government Welfare Reform Public Pension Social Spending 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WelfareHallym UniversitySouth Korea

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