Joe Leung

Joe C. B. Leung, JP, MH, BSS, is Honorary Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong; and Visiting Professor, Institute of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University, China. He received his MA (Comparative Asian Studies) and PhD (Social Policy) from the University of Hong Kong, and MA (Social and Public Administration) from Brunel University, UK. He has been a social policy advisor to the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments. His research and publications focus on social welfare reforms both in Hong Kong and in Mainland China. Specific research areas include pension reforms, social assistance, care of the older people, social development, social work education, community building, human service management, program evaluation, and family services. His new book is, China’s Social Welfare: The Third Turning Point (with Yuebin Xu; Polity Press, 2015).

 Joe C. B. Leung will take part of the Visiting Professors Program designed by EHESS, on proposal of Yohann Aucante (EHESS) and Sébastien Lechevalier (CCJ-CRJ/FFJ) from October 6th to November 3th 2019.


Doctoral Seminar

Organized in collaboration with the French Academic Network on Asian Studies (GIS Asie);

  • Wednesday 16 October 2019, 9h-12h - EHESS (salle 7_46), 54 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

Participants: Sang Bae Kim (EHESS), Johan Krieg (Paris Nanterre University), Tim Salzer (PSL), Jing Yang (EHESS).


Pension Reform in China: The Role of the World Bank

In the EHESS seminar “Current Research in Socio-Economics” organized by Eve Chiapello.

  • Thursday 17 October 2019, 15h-17h - EHESS (salle 2), 105 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

Similar to other international organizations, the World Bank has started to engage with China in the 1980s by offering loans, technical support and consultancy in pilot projects in economic, environmental, poverty alleviation and social protection development. Yet the partnership was marked by the minimal use of “conditionality” in promoting the World Bank traditional agenda of privatization and austerity. Apparently, China has learned from the Bank in setting up of a multi-pillar and hybrid pension system in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the Bank, the relationship was described as “unique and successful”. Critical success factors included continuous dialogue and persuasion, introducing international good practices and technologies, and capacity building programmes. By offering “friendly advice”, Bank’s influences are “indirect through knowledge sharing, collaborative partnership, rather than the imposition of solutions”. Key challenges of building up a sustainable and effective pension system include improving coverage, replacement rates and investment returns, as well as covering deficits.


Ageing Society and Long-term Care

In the framework of the workshop organized by the Fondation France-Japon de l'EHESS (FFJ), “European & Asian Perspectives on Welfare Issues”.

Full programme

  • Friday 18 October 2019, 9h-12h - EHESS (salle AS1_08), 54 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

China is facing the demographic transition of rapid society ageing, largely due to the One-child policy implemented in 1980. Key features include its middle-income economy (ageing society without being rich), the large size of its ageing population, rapid ageing speed, and significant regional, gender and rural-urban differences. While the needs for long-term care have been escalating, social care services have largely remained under-developed. The service gaps have been aggravated by the rapid eroding informal family care. Recent policy reforms include the piloting of long-term insurance, facilitating privately-operated homes for the aged, and government purchase of services on community-based care. Besides building up a financially sustainable LTC system, a comprehensive regulatory framework is required to assure service quality (professional workforce, measurement of needs, standardization of service inputs, information management, outcome evaluation, and monitoring of service providers) and the integration of hospital-based health care and social care in the community.


The Fourth Turning Point: Becoming a Welfare State?

Conference given as part of a seminar organized by CCJ (UMR Chine Corée Japon).

  • Monday 21 October 2019, 15h-17h - EHESS (salle 7_51), 54 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

China now is a world economic and political power. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has experienced three turning points. The first turning point was the building up of the centrally planned economy which promised its people with an egalitarian “iron rice bowl” in social protection. In the second turning point, the market-oriented and pluralistic economic reform after 1978 had eroded the traditional social security system, and more people had become vulnerable to contingencies with insecure protection. For decades, China had experimented and introduced a variety of contributory social security schemes. In 2006, it has envisioned to become a harmonious society. In this third turning point, social security reforms had focused on widening coverage, programme integration, poverty alleviation, central government intervention and redistribution, and Party-led social governance reforms. By 2020, it has pledged to set up a comprehensive and universal social protection system, which can facilitate sustainable and inclusive economic growth. To become a high-income economy with a full-fledged welfare state, it has to achieve the fourth turning point in which social policy has to be more centralized, redistributive and sustainable.