Introduction: Social Policy of the Changing Economic State

Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 2)


The economic state was conceptualized at the beginning of the 1990s, which was published years later with the release of my first book in English (Chen, 1996). At that time, there was enormous confusion surrounding the seemingly minimal (or singularly residual) role of the Chinese state, along with the diminishing state-run Danwei (work unit) and vanishing People’s Commune, in providing social welfare amid rapid social changes and mounting social needs. Outspoken critics (mostly from outside mainland China) could easily take a political stance against the happenings, who however might not realize the underlying reasons for the status quo or even backward moves, along with the various problems that served as either the causes or the corollaries. Without a clear social resolution in sight, the ramifications of such frustration and criticism could only thwart the new economic drive and reform that were crucial in putting the country on a fast track to become a major part of the world economy (as we have all witnessed by now).


Social Capital Economic State Welfare State Filial Piety Chinese State 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pace UniversityNew YorkUSA

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