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Title: Rethinking flexible welfare strategy in Hong Kong : a new direction for the East Asian welfare model?
Authors: Chan, KW 
Keywords: East Asian welfare model
Flexible accumulation
Flexible welfare
Welfare regime
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Journal of Asian Public Policy, 2012, v. 5, no. 1, p. 71-81 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Asian Public Policy 
Abstract: Many East Asian countries or cities have experienced rapid economic growth since the 1990s, and at the same time have had to face increasingly worse economic situations such as that brought about by the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and the global financial tsunami in 2008/2009. This creates a rising demand for social welfare and an increase in grievances among the citizens. Some Asian states tend to resort to ad hoc 'flexible welfare strategies', such as handing out short-term and piecemeal cash subsidies to their citizens, reducing salary tax and waiving property rates and taxes. This article points out that such flexible welfare strategies are not new innovations, but an extension of the 'flexible accumulation' strategy (as described by David Harvey) in the post-Fordist society. A flexible welfare strategy is unlikely to meet the long-term needs of the citizens. At best, it acts only as a painkiller that temporarily pacifies the grievances of these citizens. Meanwhile, it wastes resources and is expensive and unsustainable and has no long-term effect. This article calls for a thorough evaluation of this 'flexible welfare strategy' and development of more appropriate welfare strategies for facing the age of uncertainty.
ISSN: 1751-6234
DOI: 10.1080/17516234.2012.662358
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