The Quality of Life in Confucian Asia
From Physical Welfare to Subjective Well-Being
For the past three decades, Confucian Asia has been known as a region of wonders. More successfully than any other region in the world, it has expanded its national economies, and integrated those into the global economy. To the rest of the world, this region offers the lesson that poor countries, even with limited natural resources, can achieve rapid economic development and social modernization. To this day, policymakers and scholars have focused on the question of why Confucian Asia has prospered, while other regions have not. Consequently, little is known about how such economic expansion and globalization have affected the quality of citizens’ lives in the region. This volume, with quality of life in Confucian Asia as its main theme, is the first of its kind seeking to unravel the dynamics and sources of citizen well-being, and to analyze the problems of building nations of well-being in this region.
Doh Chull Shin holds the Korea Foundation chair of political science at the University of Missouri, and is the founder of the Korea Barometer project and a co-founder of the Asian Barometer project. For the past two decades, he has conducted comparative research on the democratization of authoritarian politics and cultures in East Asia and other regions. He has also engaged in public opinion research on the quality of life in East Asia. As a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, he is currently preparing a book manuscript examining how Confucianism affects the process of democratization in East Asia. In addition, he is collaborating with five other leading scholars on a book project reevaluating the Almond-Verba civic culture model with the World Value surveys and other regional barometers. Shin’s recent books include Mass Politics and Culture in Democratizing Korea (Cambridge University Press, 1999); Institutional Reform and Democratic Consolidation in Korea (Hoover Institution Press, 2000), The Quality of Life in Korea (Springer, 2003); Economic Crisis and Dual Transition in Korea (Seoul National University Press, 2004), Citizens, Democracy, and Markets Around the Pacific (Oxford University Press, 2005); Party Politics in East Asia (Lynne Rienner, 2008); and How East Asians View Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008).