Globalization and Social Welfare Reforms in China

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Altaf Hussain Ansari


The political and economic reforms initiated in China in the late 1970s can be seen as the communist regime's response to the crises faced by the country after the Cultural Revolution. Disastrous socio-political legacies left by the Cultural Revolution prompted Deng1 to initiate reforms particularly in the social sector. Many countries had seen moves towards welfare reforms since the late 1970s, and China is not an exception to it. In spite of the many differences from country to country, not least in terms of the extent of the reforms undertaken, the basic direction of reform has been very similar in all countries concerned. From the post-war welfare state model, which was based on the ideology of social justice and equality, we are moving towards the neo-liberal welfare model, which is based mainly on economic efficiency. A number of social and economic factors have influenced this shift but two are fundamental: economic globalization and the introduction of market reforms.

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