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Kjell Nilsson

Kjell Nilsson


Kjell Nilsson

Emerging Welfare States: Comparing East Asian and Scandinavian Redistribution Models in a Global Context


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

Summary, in English

In this paper we discuss social policy in relation to different development contexts, where characteristics and outcomes of social policies in different sectors ( e.g.,housing, care, education, social security) are compared.

The paper relates to the discussion on the causes and outcomes of welfare state management in different contexts. However, existing analytical models do not fit the mixtures of welfare provision with redistributive mechanisms at work in many countries.

Analytical models targeted to an analysis of welfare and social policy in developing countries have so far been insufficient. There has been but few attempts at theorizing the diversity of welfare policies in formerly planned economies. Recent analyses, such as Wood & Gough (2006) are not easily applicable to transitional economies. In the case of Asia, there is a lack of a thorough account of transitional welfare policies in post-communist countries, such as the one put forth by Deacon (2000) on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states.

In addition, comparative studies have so far more or less ignored cross-comparisons on sectorial social policy. The mixed economy of welfare varies substantially between different welfare sectors within a specific country. Therefore, our paper focuses on welfare configurations using a sectorial approach.

A major aim of the paper is to compare on a sectorial level Sweden with China and Vietnam, where we contrast parameters of the emerging welfare states in China and Vietnam with the paths of welfare development in Sweden. This opens the possibility of a comparative analysis between the Asian cases and a developed welfare state while at the same time providing the starting point for an analytical model which better informs the theoretical development of transitional welfare policies in post-communist countries.


  • Sociologi
  • Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi








  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • East Asia
  • comparative studies
  • mixed economy of welfare
  • welfare policies
  • sectorial social policy
  • Scandinavia
  • sociologi
  • sociology

Conference name

ISA Forum

Conference date