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Kjell Nilsson

Kjell Nilsson


Kjell Nilsson

Social Welfare in China and Vietnam: how new welfare models are being developed in a globalised world


  • Kjell Nilsson
  • Magnus Ring
  • Johan Sandberg
  • Hoai Anh Tran

Summary, in English

This paper discusses the social security systems in China and Vietnam as descriptive examples of developments of social welfare models in changing Asian contexts. It seeks to develop a methodological approach, which will enable analyses of overarching “macro” developments as well as individual experiences thereof. The main objective is to discuss the possibilities of a comparative analysis of social security systems in China and Vietnam, highlighting ways in which different welfare models are being developed and transformed in transitional Asian states, while being influenced by the globalisation of social policy.

Although China and Vietnam are both countries in transition from similar systems to market economy they are often referred to as following different transitional paths. We analyze the social security and social assistance programmes in the two countries in order to identify ways in which these programmes relate to ideological frameworks as well as to historic and contemporary institutional configurations of welfare provision through the state, market and family. However, when applying macro-oriented theories on the micro level, existing analytical models (such as ‘regime types’) do not fit the mixtures of welfare provision and redistributive mechanisms in many developing countries. In an effort to transcend this, we move beyond a mere comparison of “regimes” by introducing the inclusion of actual modes of action on the recipient-level in the different contexts, in respective country. This paper also discusses methodological difficulties involved in applying such an approach.


  • Sociologi
  • Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi








  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • social welfare
  • China
  • Vietnam
  • sociologi
  • sociology

Conference name

XVII International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology

Conference date

2010-07-11 - 2010-07-17

Conference place

Gothenburg, Sweden