On the Change in Relationship between Public and Private Sectors in the Formation of the Korean Elderly Welfare System
- 金早雪(Jo-Seol KIM)
- 한국동북아경제학회 하계학술발표논문집
- 한국동북아경제학회 2010년 하계학술대회 발표집
- 1 - 20 (20 pages)
The democratization and social welfare system of South Korea have been rapidly developing to levels similar to advanced countries since the Kim Yeong-sam government (1993-98). Besides social insurance reforms, the national minimum security system as a civil rights was introduced by the National Minimum Livelihood Act (1999) under the Kim Dae-jung government (1998-2003), and the Noh Mu-hyun administration (2003-08) improved on care and service systems for the elderly, handicapped, and other special needs groups. This paper addresses the process and factors involved in the development of a unique social security system for the elderly in Korea from the multiple-perspective viewpoint of critical social gerontology, since the indices of economic performance and aging ratio are as yet insufficient to explain it. The first aim of this paper is to reveal that the issues of the elderly population emerged as a social issue before the phenomenon of an aging Korean society as a result of rapid economic growth, which is different from the experiences of the advanced countries. Secondly, we will analyze the political discourse on welfare and the actual policies established for the elderly in order to verify that the Korean welfare reforms arose from an acute turning point, not gradually, because the welfare system had been trailing Korea’s economic and fiscal levels. Finally, what is most worthy of attention in Korean welfare policy is the new concept of the cooperation or co-production between the public and private sectors proposed in ‘Participatory Welfare’ by former president Noh Mu-hyun. While the private sector had been under the control and patronage of the government through the poor-welfare age until the 1990s, the responsible private entities are now being called on for participation in welfare activities. It seems that in order for the government to secure a national welfare minimum, the private sector will need to be established as its independent partner for social care and services in a new kind of welfare society that will be recognized as the Korean welfare model.