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Bard College Professor Ken Haig Awarded Abe Fellowship For Research on Japanese and Korean Welfare Policies

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has awarded Ken Haig, assistant professor of political studies at Bard College, a prestigious Abe Fellowship to support a year of research in Japan and South Korea for his project, “Family, State, and Society: Japanese and Korean Family Welfare Policies in Comparative Perspective.”

With the world’s most rapidly aging societies and lowest fertility, East Asia’s wealthiest democracies face many policy challenges. Haig’s research explores these politically difficult challenges facing the region, such as the question of who will care for children and the elderly as dual-income families become the norm. For much of their post–World War II development, East Asia’s leading industrialized democracies kept social spending low by relying on women as family caregivers. The key to integrating women more fully into the workforce is moving away from this traditional system. However, this involves not only changing long-standing social practices and workplace cultures concerning gender roles, but the creation of family welfare policies where few existed before. Haig’s research focuses on the varied experiences of Japan and South Korea in particular, for the puzzles they present and the policy lessons that they offer for other industrialized societies in East Asia and around the world.

Ken Haig has a B.A. degree from Harvard University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a visiting researcher at Keio University, Tokyo from 2005–2007 and a visiting research fellow at Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan, from 1999–2000. His honors and awards include Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Completion Scholarship (2008–09); JSPS Research Fellowship (2006–07); and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2005–06). His research and teaching interests include immigration politics, Japanese and East Asian politics, Asia-Pacific regional politics, comparative public policy. He has been at Bard since 2009.

About the Abe Fellowship
The Abe Fellowship is designed to encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. The program seeks to foster the development of a new generation of researchers who are interested in policy-relevant topics of long-range importance and who are willing to become key members of a bilateral and global research network built around such topics. It strives especially to promote a new level of intellectual cooperation between the Japanese and American academic and professional communities committed to and trained for advancing global understanding and problem solving. Research support to individuals is at the core of the Abe Fellowship Program. Applications are welcome from scholars and non-academic research professionals. The objectives of the program are to foster high quality research in the social sciences and related disciplines, to build new collaborative networks of researchers around the three thematic foci of the program, to bring new data and new data resources to the attention of those researchers, and to obtain from them a commitment to a comparative or transnational line of inquiry. The Abe Fellowship Program is administered by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), with support from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and CGP. Funding for the Abe Fellowship Program is provided by CGP. 

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This event was last updated on 04-29-2013