Handbook of Welfare in China

Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by Beatriz Carrillo, University of Sydney, Australia and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China, Johanna Hood, Roskilde University, Denmark and Paul Kadetz, Drew University, US and University College London, UK

The Handbook is a timely compilation dedicated to exploring a rare diversity of perspectives and content on the development, successes, reforms and challenges within China’s contemporary welfare system. It showcases an extensive introduction and 20 original chapters by leading and emerging area specialists who explore a century of welfare provision from the Nationalist era, up to and concentrating on economic reform and marketisation (1978 to the present). Organised around five key concerns (social security and welfare; emerging issues and actors; gaps; future challenges) chapters draw on original case-based research from diverse disciplines and perspectives, engage existing literature and further key debates.

‘The Handbook of Welfare in China is a good example of a handbook. The text finds the balance between the contributors’ detailed knowledge and the editors’ efforts to produce coherent contribution. It is a publication entering what will be an increasingly competitive market with a number of edited volumes covering welfare in China from a research perspective already out, and a number of handbooks planned for the future which either touch on or are exclusively focused on welfare. Despite this competition I would suggest that the Handbook of Welfare in China will successfully find a space on many reading lists and a place in any good library.’
– The China Quarterly

‘How to make sense of the massive changes that have taken place in China’s welfare system in recent decades? Is China becoming a welfare state and if so, is it residual, conservative, Confucian—or something else entirely different? What are China’s most salient gaps in welfare provision, and what are the key emerging issues and actors of its rapidly changing social welfare system? The Handbook of Welfare in China, edited by Beatriz Carrillo, Johanna Hood and Paul Kadetz is an impressive and timely resource to start answering these questions. It offers a comprehensive and detailed overview of several aspects of social welfare in China, covers recent policy efforts, and underlines the causes and consequences of gaps in welfare provision in different areas of welfare. The book also incorporates useful historical background to China’s social welfare system and outlines emerging trends and future policy challenges of welfare provision. The Handbook of Welfare in China thus stands as an excellent reference on the topic of welfare in China.’
– Journal of Chinese Political Science

‘As a Handbook, this volume has performed its mission. The readers will find it extremely insightful and useful in understanding welfare contemporary China and its historical roots.’
– Cambridge Core

‘This is a needed book, bracing in its diversity and scope. As a collection of authoritative studies of welfare in China, it is a Handbook in the best sense of the word: China researchers, and others concerned with global health and social inequality, will want to keep it ready to hand, to consult as a reservoir of up-to-date facts, carefully analysed. All of these scholars challenge the liberal term “welfare” through the experience of Chinese socialism, even as they make the category useful for comparative and critical research.’
– Judith Farquhar, University of Chicago, US

‘Handbook of Welfare in China is an impressive book, written by scholars from a range of disciplines. Covering everything from public welfare provision under the Qing and leprosy control in the collective era, to contemporary urban housing welfare policies and Sino-African health diplomacy, it makes an important contribution to our understanding of the historical development of modern China’s welfare regime. It will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in welfare in China for many years to come.’
– Tamara Jacka, The Australian National University

‘In this book, Carrillo, Hood and Kadetz have assembled a distinguished cast of academics to examine social welfare in China. The result is a sweeping review that covers Chinese welfare through various historical eras, across differing models of welfare provision and from a range of perspectives. Evolving aspects of welfare provision by the central state, by local states, by employers, by NGOs, by individual philanthropists and by families are all considered. The authors also make useful comparisons across historical divides and between China and other countries, including both developed economies in Europe and other developing countries. While the authors diverge in terms of their degree of optimism or pessimism towards Chinese welfare regimes, they all manage to illuminate aspects of its provision. The book will become a starting point for all interested in this topic.’
– Andrew Kipnis, The Australian National University

2017 464 pp Hardback 978 1 78347 273 4 £179.00 £161.10 $270.00 $243.00

Elgaronline 978 1 78347 274 1

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

How To Order



Get up to 20% discount when you order online

By Email

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]

By Phone

UK/ROW: +44 (0) 1243 843291

N/S America: (800) 390-3149

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter

For news, views and offers


Read our Blog

For news, views and debate from our authors and readers.


For More Information

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]