The concepts of welfare regimes and secularity in Chinese societies

Key information

10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Brunei Gallery

About this event

Prof. André Laliberté (University of Ottawa)
The seminar is free and open to all, but registration is necessary. Please email for information.

The seminar discussion will look at the concepts of welfare regime and secularity and the methodological challenges we face when they travel to Chinese societies. The concept of welfare regime, by including the family and the community as providers of social services and care, allows for a richer analysis of how people can address social insecurity than the traditional focus on the welfare state has allowed thus far. Looking beyond the state and the market to understand the evolution of welfare regimes opens the door to an examination of different social forces shaping the making and implementation of social policies, including religions. Such an approach, however, by revealing the liminality of religious involvement in the missions of the modern state, raise interesting questions about the secular nature of China, which is governed by a vanguard political party that claims to have solved the ‘religious question’ by hastening its withering away.

Speaker Biography

André Laliberté (University of British Columbia 1999) is Professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Political Studies. He has published book chapters and articles for peer-reviewed journals about domestic politics in Taiwan and China, as well as about cross-strait relations. The issues he has examined include nationalism, freedom of conscience, democratization, social policies, and labor rights for migrant caregivers. His focus is the intersection of religion and politics in China and Taiwan, starting with The Politics of Buddhist Organizations in Taiwan (Routledge, 2004). He has co-edited Buddhism after Mao with Ji Zhe and Gareth Fisher (Hawai’i University Press, 2019), and Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions with Stefania Travagnin (de Gruyter 2019). His books Chinese Religions and Welfare Regimes beyond the PRC: Legacies of Empire and Multiple Secularities and Religion and China's Welfare Regimes: Buddhist Philanthropy and the State will be published by Palgrave in 2022.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies

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Sponsor: Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation