Renegotiating Social Risks in The People’s Republic of China and Japan


Pacific Affairs SPECIAL ISSUE (Volume 93, No. 2)

Guest Editors: Hanno Jentzsch and Alison Lamont


There have been various attempts to capture the direction of welfare provision in Japan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a regionally coherent welfare regime, following on from attempts by the welfare regime literature to categorize nation-states by the characteristics of their welfare provision in the West. However, stark differences between the PRC and Japan as regional neighbours, and even within the regions of each country, pose a challenge to this kind of macro-level theorizing. This special issue seeks to supplement macro perspectives on welfare regimes by exploring a range of welfare policies across both states from an ethnographic, bottom-up perspective, which captures the dynamic nature of welfare and highlights the importance of understanding how local actors request, interpret, and implement risk management strategies. The management of social risks is shown not to have one clear direction determined by, for example, market logic: instead, this special issue highlights the ways in which the burden of risk shifts between family, market, state, and communities unevenly over time, reflecting underlying institutional norms which are always up for negotiation. In doing so, this special issue emphasizes the importance of local, contextualized understandings of welfare, and suggests that the comparative welfare regimes literature should seek the micro-institutional foundations of welfare provision as the basis for comparison.

About Pacific Affairs

Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focussing on important current political, economic, and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-45 book reviews. Published continuously since 1928 under the same name, Pacific Affairs has been located on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, since 1961. The journal is committed to providing to the scholarly community and the world at large high quality research on Asia and the Pacific that takes readers beyond the headlines and across multiple disciplines.
Publication of Pacific Affairs is generously supported by The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

Contributions by Hanno Jentzsch

Jentzsch, Hanno, und Alison Lamont. 2020. „Introduction: Renegotiating Social Risks in The People’s Republic of China and Japan“, Pacific Affairs 93 (2).  DOI:

Jentzsch, Hanno. 2020. „Japan’s Changing Regional World of Welfare: Agricultural Reform, Hamlet-Based Collective Farming, and the Local Renegotiation of Social Risks“,  Pacific Affairs 93 (2). DOI:


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