Teaching the Dragon? The Diffusion of European Union’s Social and Employment Policies to China

Minna Marja-Leena van Gerven-Haanpää, Yang Weiguo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter analyses the extent to which we can trace the ideational spread of the European Union’s employment and social policies outside European borders, more specifically in China. Based on the analysis of labour market reforms in China between 2000 and 2012 and interview data obtained from EU-level and Chinese officials, this paper sets out to investigate the extent to which the European solution of flexicurity is diffused to China, a country with a massive pool of labour force and high reform intensity in the last decade. Guided by theoretical insights on policy diffusion literature, our findings propose that a partial diffusion (emulation between EU and China) exists, in which China has been keen to learn from European virtues to combine equality with economic growth. With regard to instruments provided by the flexicurity strategy, more learning than mimicking has occurred, that is, the Chinese have learned about the aspects of active labour market policies, public employment services and training services to embrace flexible labour market arrangements to rapidly adjust to changing labour market conditions as well as those aspects strengthening the basic social (insurance) safety nets to promote inclusive growth in a harmonious society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging International Connectivity, Diversity of Learning and Changing Labour Markets
EditorsKa Ho Mok
ISBN (Print)978-981-10-1734-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHigher Education in Asia: Quality, Excellence and Governance


  • METIS-320122
  • IR-102802


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