Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 13, 2023

Reimagining narratives of Asian language education in Australian universities

INTRODUCTION: The politics of social policy in Asia

Asia’s social welfare systems remain underdeveloped and skewed in favour of particular groups, despite rising inequality, ageing populations, labour precarity and rural-urban migration.

  • Professor Andrew Rosser

East Asia’s low spending model on welfare is no longer fit for tackling growing inequality

Despite their economic 'miracles' most East Asian nations have fairly low levels of spending on welfare.

Predatory political, bureaucratic and corporate elites have been a core reason for Indonesia’s learning crisis

Indonesia’s learning crisis reflects the influence of predatory political, bureaucratic and corporate elites.

Three reasons social insurance coverage in Indonesia is low

Indonesia’s social insurance system is plagued with low coverage and dropouts which may threaten its financial sustainability.

How the Philippines achieved universal kindergarten and what it means for welfare expansion

Almost every child in the Philippines attends kindergarten. How has this been achieved?

Special Analysis

WEBINAR: Making Southeast Asia’s education systems work

Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar have widened access to education in recent decades, but there has been little improvement in learning outcomes. Why this is the case?

More equitable fiscal systems are needed to improve welfare provision for migrant workers in China and Vietnam

Public expenditure on social protection in Vietnam and China has lagged behind most developed and developing economies.

Edition 14, June 2023

Asian social welfare/protection

Is social policy now a well-established but ‘new’ form of economic development?

Economies such as Vietnam are growing in ways that shift economic activity to services rather than manufacturing.

The struggle for universal healthcare in Asia

There is a tendency to assume a lack of money is the main barrier to achieving universal healthcare. But there are a range of other issues.

Health and democracy in India: Do voters care about health?

New research shows that health looms larger as a concern for Indian voters than previously assumed.

INTERVIEW: Is China’s welfare system changing and does it have capacity to care for its rapidly ageing population?

China is home to the largest population of older people in the world. How will it look after them?

Stewardship & governance of the medical profession & the salience of trust: Comparing the UK & India

Both nations have moved away from a self-regulation model, partly due to scandals about performance and practices.

Measuring ‘what?’ and ‘how?’ Welfare development and the dependent variable problem within East Asian social policy analysis

In order to properly analyse a nation's social policy , clarity is needed about key trends and drivers of welfare development.

Social service delivery for the marginalised in rural China: political will matters

China’s rapid urbanisation has contributed to increased numbers of children and elderly left without carers in rural areas.

Book Review

Rethinking World Bank Influence: Governance Reforms and the Ritual Aid Dance in Indonesia by D. Brent Edwards Jr

An important contribution to our understanding of the Bank’s role in the politics of governance reform in the Global South, especially in education.

Blue Security/MAR special series ‘Beyond the South China Sea: other maritime disputes in Southeast Asia’