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postgraduate thesis: Political economy and public health governance: a comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwanfrom the 19th century to 2000s

TitlePolitical economy and public health governance: a comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwanfrom the 19th century to 2000s
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Ng, MK
Issue Date2010
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Hui, L. [許禮亨]. (2010). Political economy and public health governance : a comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan from the 19th century to 2000s. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4729955
AbstractThis dissertation seeks to understand the relationships between the evolving political economies and modes of public health governance in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan from the 19th century to nowadays. It is argued that from a political economy perspective, a suitable institutional set-up is important in providing political resources necessary for the evolution of public health governance. This dissertation looks specifically at political resources that include authority, legitimacy, finance and knowledge. The uneven distribution of these political resources across the polity determines the power gradient amongst different actors. Institutional set-up is also important because it governs the interaction between different actors who are in various ways dependent upon one another. From the 19th century, the polity of these three jurisdictions experienced drastic change under the banner of colonialism. The colonial governments were preoccupied with advancement of colonial interest. With the unrest in the polity, the colonial governments realised the importance of authority and knowledge in perpetuating their existence. At the same time however, the ignorance towards cultural affinity of colonial subject deprived the governments of their ability to regulate the life of the latter. The contradiction was strongly reflected in the two British colonies where there were clashes over the application of public health law and regulation. Japan, by contrast, was more able to garner authority because of her tactics to couple traditional control with modern policing. In the post-war era, the political economy of these three jurisdictions departed from one another. In Hong Kong, the colonial set-up shifts from regulatory-led to developmental-led institutional set-up. Similar tendency can be observed in Singapore and continued after her independence. Bureaucratic authority became the most available resources for government to mobilise. In strong possession of authority and finance, the government was increasingly able to introduce expansionary measures. This is accompanied by the rise of rational planning in Hong Kong and Singapore. As a result, there witnessed bureaucratisation of public health governance which shaped the dependent interactions between the authorities and citizen and the sporadic contribution from charities and overseas organisations. Taiwan departed significantly from these two jurisdictions. The inception of Kuomintang’s authoritarian regime attempted to continue the regulatory-led institutional set-up from the colonial regime in the 1950s. Whilst authority became abundant, financial resources were drained away to military project. International agents became the key actor to contribute to the functioning of public health governance. In the 1970s to 1990s, the fiscal crisis arising from exponential increase of public expenditure and the international policy discourse of deregulation led to the declining ability of tax-based direct provision of health care. There displayed a greater willingness to rely on more actors and more instruments to divest the responsibility of the government. However the negligence about the potential trade-off between authority and finance limited the dynamics of coordination between different actors. The sudden outbreak of the SARS episode in 2003 unveiled the problem of underinstitutionalisation of polity. It unsettled the role of power and authority of government as demonstrated in Singapore and unleashed the latent power of civil society in the arena of public health as seen in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It also illuminated the role of knowledge in dealing with uncertainty in an institutional set-up.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPublic health - China - Hong Kong.
Public health - Singapore.
Public health - Taiwan.
Dept/ProgramUrban Planning and Design

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorNg, MK-
dc.contributor.authorHui, Lai-hang.-
dc.contributor.author許禮亨.-
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.identifier.citationHui, L. [許禮亨]. (2010). Political economy and public health governance : a comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan from the 19th century to 2000s. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4729955-
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation seeks to understand the relationships between the evolving political economies and modes of public health governance in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan from the 19th century to nowadays. It is argued that from a political economy perspective, a suitable institutional set-up is important in providing political resources necessary for the evolution of public health governance. This dissertation looks specifically at political resources that include authority, legitimacy, finance and knowledge. The uneven distribution of these political resources across the polity determines the power gradient amongst different actors. Institutional set-up is also important because it governs the interaction between different actors who are in various ways dependent upon one another. From the 19th century, the polity of these three jurisdictions experienced drastic change under the banner of colonialism. The colonial governments were preoccupied with advancement of colonial interest. With the unrest in the polity, the colonial governments realised the importance of authority and knowledge in perpetuating their existence. At the same time however, the ignorance towards cultural affinity of colonial subject deprived the governments of their ability to regulate the life of the latter. The contradiction was strongly reflected in the two British colonies where there were clashes over the application of public health law and regulation. Japan, by contrast, was more able to garner authority because of her tactics to couple traditional control with modern policing. In the post-war era, the political economy of these three jurisdictions departed from one another. In Hong Kong, the colonial set-up shifts from regulatory-led to developmental-led institutional set-up. Similar tendency can be observed in Singapore and continued after her independence. Bureaucratic authority became the most available resources for government to mobilise. In strong possession of authority and finance, the government was increasingly able to introduce expansionary measures. This is accompanied by the rise of rational planning in Hong Kong and Singapore. As a result, there witnessed bureaucratisation of public health governance which shaped the dependent interactions between the authorities and citizen and the sporadic contribution from charities and overseas organisations. Taiwan departed significantly from these two jurisdictions. The inception of Kuomintang’s authoritarian regime attempted to continue the regulatory-led institutional set-up from the colonial regime in the 1950s. Whilst authority became abundant, financial resources were drained away to military project. International agents became the key actor to contribute to the functioning of public health governance. In the 1970s to 1990s, the fiscal crisis arising from exponential increase of public expenditure and the international policy discourse of deregulation led to the declining ability of tax-based direct provision of health care. There displayed a greater willingness to rely on more actors and more instruments to divest the responsibility of the government. However the negligence about the potential trade-off between authority and finance limited the dynamics of coordination between different actors. The sudden outbreak of the SARS episode in 2003 unveiled the problem of underinstitutionalisation of polity. It unsettled the role of power and authority of government as demonstrated in Singapore and unleashed the latent power of civil society in the arena of public health as seen in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It also illuminated the role of knowledge in dealing with uncertainty in an institutional set-up.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47299551-
dc.subject.lcshPublic health - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshPublic health - Singapore.-
dc.subject.lcshPublic health - Taiwan.-
dc.titlePolitical economy and public health governance: a comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwanfrom the 19th century to 2000s-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4729955-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineUrban Planning and Design-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4729955-
dc.date.hkucongregation2010-

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