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The political economy of welfare in Singapore: explaining continuity and change

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The Singapore model of the political economy of welfare is often understood as an anti-thesis to the high spending welfare state in Western Europe. In Singapore, the family is the key to promoting self-sufficiency. Individual responsibility is maximized through a series of highly regulated social provisions, designed to promote maximum social conformity and economic instrumentality. Singapore is also considerably different from its Northeast Asian counterparts due to its remarkable level of welfare regime stability. This article addresses the question of how this continuity has been possible for so long and whether it is likely to continue. It argues that the institutional coherence that is provided through a set of ideational frameworks is central in unpacking the stories behind Singapore’s road to development.
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Keywords: East Asia; Institutional Coherence; Political Economy; Role of Social Policy; Singapore

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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