Managing Welfare Expectations in the Post-Handover Era: Social Development Challenges and Social Policy Responses in Hong Kong and Macau

Note: This event has been postponed from 29 November 2011.


Ka Lin, Zhejiang University


Our contemporary world is currently experiencing the global economic crisis and people from different socio-economic backgrounds suffer from various kinds of social and economic consequences. In coping with the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis, governments in Hong Kong and Macau have attempted to provide moderate forms of social protection packages to help those social groups who suffer from poverty or unemployment in the post-handover period. With significant social and economic changes taking place in Asia, particularly after experiencing economic downturn in the post 1997 Asian financial crisis and post 2008 global economic crisis, people in Hong Kong and Macau have heightened expectations for welfare provision and social protection packages offered by their governments. Despite the growing needs for social protection after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the governments of Hong Kong and Macau have not drastically changed their approaches in handling the increasingly complex social welfare issues. Thus it is not surprising to see many people still suffered from economic hardship, especially in the midst of food price crisis before the current global economic crisis broke out in October 2008. The principal goal of this paper is to critically examine the approach and philosophy that the governments of the HKSAR and Macau SAR have adopted in managing rapid socio-economic and demographic changes in the post-handover era, with particular reference to critically reflect upon whether the existing welfare models in these SARS would sustain to handle the growing complexity in social, economic and political developments of these city-states in Asia.


Ka Ho Mok is Chair Professor of Comparative Policy, concurrently he is Associate Vice President (External Relations), Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Co-Director, Centre for Governance and Citizenship of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd). Before joining the HKIEd, he was Associate Dean and Professor of Social Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong (HKU). Being appointed as founding Chair Professor in East Asian Studies, Professor Mok established the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Bristol, UK before taking the position at HKU. Professor Mok is no narrow disciplinary specialist but has worked creatively across the academic worlds of sociology, political science and public and social policy while building up his wide knowledge of China and the region.
Professor Mok has published extensively in the fields of comparative education policy, comparative development and policy studies, and social development in contemporary China and East Asia. In particular, he has contributed to the field of social change and education a variety of additional ways not the least, of which has been his leadership and entrepreneurial approach to the organization of the field.  He has been awarded the First Annual CIES (Comparative and International Education Society) Higher Education SIG Best Article for the academic year 2008-2009. He has been elected by the Ministry of Education in China as Changjiang Scholar Chair Professor of Zhejiang University since 2010.