The extraordinary rise of China is one of the greatest global stories of recent times. However, China's development has been described as 'uneven, uncoordinated, and unsustainable', and has now reached a critical turning point. To transform itself into a successful high-income economy, China urgently needs to develop a new welfare regime. Social policy and social welfare programmes are pivotal not only to meet mounting social needs but also to promote social cohesion.
This timely book explores key turning points in China's trajectory, from the creation of a socialist egalitarian society promising a relatively stable livelihood at the expense of economic development, through the market-oriented reforms which have dismantled the traditional social protection system. The authors present the formidable social challenges ahead, including demographic shift, residential migration, and corrosive inequalities, and outline the emerging forms of social security protection in urban and rural areas, community-based social care services, non-governmental organizations and the social work profession. To redress inequalities and strengthen social cohesion, China needs to construct a robust developmental and redistributive strategy with shared responsibility between different levels of governments, as well as between civil society, the state and the market.
This comprehensive and astute guide to one of China's key current challenges will be welcomed by students and scholars of social policy, welfare, sociology and political science, and all interested in contemporary China.