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The 13th EASP annual conference

- Institute for Social Welfare Research

The 13th EASP (East Asian Social Policy Network)

Organized by the Institute for Social Welfare Research at Ewha, the 13th East Asian Social Policy Network (EASP) International Annual Conference was held at the Department of Social Welfare, Ewha Womans University, on ‘Social Policy and Gender in East Asia’ from July 1 to 2, 2016. This conference is jointly hosted by East Asian Social Policy Association, Department of Social Welfare (BK21 PLUS) of Ewha Womans University, SSK Project “An application and evaluation of a new paradigm of an aging society”, SSK Project “Fictional stability and lived precariousness in Korean society: Multidimentional, life-course and multi-level approach” and NRF Project “Gender segregation in East Asian labour markets and welfare production regimes: An application of comparative mixed-methods”. Over 170 delegates from more than 15 countries and regions participated from across Asia, Europe, Australasia, and North America (South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, USA, Nepal, Thailand, Italy, Australia, Canada, Denmark). The internationally spread participants generated a vibrant atmosphere and 2 plenary & 5 parallel sessions were opened with 9 streams of discussion informed by a wide range of theoretical, practical and cross-national perspectives. 


The conference commenced with opening remarks made by Prof. Soondool Chung (Dean of School of Social Welfare, Ewha Womans University) who warmly welcomed the participants and also highlighted that it was the first time to host the EASP conference at Ewha Womans University. Additionally, Prof. Choong Rai Nho (Director of Institute for Social Welfare Research, Ewha Womans University) delivered the second opening remark to celebrate the conference. 


The first plenary session was opened with a round table session, chaired by Prof. Minah Kang (Ewha Womans University), set a broad ranging tone for the event. Prof. Mari Miura (Sophia University, Japan) made a presentation titled “The Trilemma of the Care Economy: Possible Paths of Japan.” Prof. Joohee Lee (Ewha Womans University) presented secondly a topic entitled “The East Asian Miracle and the Wollstonecraft Dilemma: In Search for a New Paradigm of Gender Egalitarian Social Rights.”


During the two days conference, in total over 90 papers were presented. The conference as a whole featured 9 paper streams: Welfare State &Welfare Regimes & Governance, Family and Care, Health &Well-being, Social Protection & Income Maintenance, Migration & Diversity, Ageing Society & the Elderly, Labor Market & Inequality, Housing, Graduate Student Session.


The second day of the conference began with four panel sessions that were devoted to streamed panels. Again a wide range of countries, policy areas, theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches featured, ranging from public housing policies and women’s experiences living in rental flats in Singapore to female characteristics and changes: The construction of women’s health on Chinese magazine. About 14 presentations were done in the second day constituting around 90 paper presentations in total during the two days conference.

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The second day sessions were followed by the second plenary session, chaired by Prof. Junko Yamashita (University of Bristol, UK) with two presentations. First, Prof. Dayoung Song (Incheon National University, South Korea) discussed on “Developmentalism and Stratified and Gendered Limitation of Korean Social Care Policy.” Second presentation was followed by Prof. Prof. Misa Izuhara (University of Bristol, UK) who explained “Women and Housing in Post-Growth Society: Policy rhetoric and reality.” 

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Following the 2nd plenary session, during closing ceremony, two organizations (EASP & Academy of Critical Social Welfare, South Korea) signed the MOU to develop formal research collaborations between them. Finally, Prof. Nok Kinglun (President of EASP) made closing remarks to thanks to attendees for participating in the conference. Also, Dr. Bum Jung Kim (Secretary of EASP) closed the conference by explaining the past activities of EASP during the year and also introducing the upcoming activities.