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New DNA of the Korean welfare state: Towards social liberalism and freecurity

Young Jun Choi 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Korean welfare state has achieved remarkable development during the last two decades, but simultaneously we have witnessed growing prevalent social conflicts and exclusion in the society. This research argues that the source of current problems lies in the nature of the Korean welfare regime, so called, 'paternalistic liberalism'. The paternalistic liberalism has been formulated by the combination of legacies of the developmental state and neo-liberalism. Paternalism with the growth-oriented and employment-centered approach has been a significant factor to restrict individuals’ freedom and happiness in the Korean welfare state. It has also been embedded in the Korean welfare state such as social insurance, workfare programs, and centralized social services. In this context, this research proposes social liberalism, pursuing real freedom for all, as a new paradigm for the Korean welfare state. Breaking from the old path, Freecurity, combining freedom and security, which is argued to be the upgraded version of flexicurity, is also newly proposed as the operating model of social liberalism.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.