China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
As a result of significant sociodemographic shifts, new forms of inequality--beyond traditional class politics--are developing across the East Asian democracies. This panel explores the causes and consequences of emerging inequalities in the region. Aram Hur investigates North Korean refugees’ conceptions of successful integration into South Korean society and how these differ from the South Korean state’s vision of integration. Papers by Wei-ting Yen and Sara Newland focus on two different aspects of inequality in Taiwan. Yen explores how income volatility affects individuals’ support for the welfare state; individuals with greater endogenous income insecurity are less likely to enroll in social welfare programs, an effect that is especially strong for low-income individuals. Newland assesses inequality in government services in Taiwan, describing the “digital divide” in Taiwan’s e-government services and arguing that this digital divide stems from interregional inequality in the technical capacity of Taiwan’s local officials. Finally, Mary Alice Haddad explores policy collaboration among city leaders seeking to address the kinds of inequalities--exacerbated by high real estate costs and migration--that many Asian cities face today.