Global Summer/Winter School
S024 Social Welfare Policies and Practices in Modern China


Session A

Course Title: S024 Social Welfare Policies and Practices in Modern China

Duration: 2019.7.11-2019.7.26 (2 weeks) 

Campus: Xuhui


Course Description

Social welfare policies and practices is a mirror of the relationship between state and people. China’s social welfare policies have witnessed vast changes in the last 50 years. This course focuses in introducing the dynamic process and revealing the internal logic which will provide a desirable angle for foreign students to understand China, as well as foster their critical thinking with existing frameworks in analyzing Chinese society and policy processes.

This course is divided into two major sections, namely 1) the welfare policy introduction and analysis and 2) the welfare policy implementation mechanism analysis. The welfare policies covered include: pension, medical insurance, social assistance, housing, and migrant children welfare.



Through this course, students are able to:

  • Have systematic knowledge about China’s social welfare policies.
  • Analyze the implementation processes and agencies of these policies.
  • Use critical thinking as with the applicability and limitation of western frameworks in analyzing China’s social welfare policies.




Dr. Fan YANG


Dr. Fan Yang is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). He is the holder of Shanghai Pujiang Talent Reward and China’s Natural Science Foundation project. His research interests are mainly on the mental health of disadvantaged groups, such as left-behind elderly, left-behind children, and the poor.

Dr. Yang received his PhD in social work from the University of Hong Kong and was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Apart from academic work, he has also served as a freelancer for an English newspaper, and chaired several government evaluation projects on welfare services. In addition, he has worked as reviewer for several international journals, and published a number of academic articles in both Chinese and English journals.


Prof. Xiaoyi ZHANG

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Prof. Zhang is the Head of the Department of Public Economics and Social Policy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Director of Shanghai Social Security Research Committee, and the Vice Director of Shanghai Public Administration Research Committee. In her long career within welfare services for the poor and elderly population, Prof. Zhang has won many academic rewards from both Shanghai and China as a whole. She is also chairing some national and World Bank projects. Prof. Zhang has published more than thirty academic articles and several books, she has also chaired over forty research projects. Her major focus is on social protection and long-term care. Currently she is a senior advisory consultant for Shanghai’s Bureau of Civil Affairs, and constantly advocates for vulnerable groups in the public media.


Dr. Vivian LOU Weiqun 

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Dr. Vivian Lou is an associate professor in the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She is currently the Director of the Sau Po Center of Ageing, a world-class research hub of gerontology. She is also the Program Director of HKU’s Master of Social Science – Gerontology, as well as the Honorary Professor in a number of China’s major universities. She has won a number of world-level academic rewards in gerontological studies and got over twenty research scholarships from prestigious foundations and academic institutions.

Dr. Vivian Lou has studied widely on family caregiving and its health impacts. Specifically examining the mental health of Chinese family caregivers’ in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, this was a pionerring study that generated high impact publications. Recently, Dr. Lou’s study extended to examining the positive and/or resilient capacity of the family caregiver in a Chinese context, which includes studying secondary caregivers, social support, and the role of the domestic helper.


Prof. Chenxi HUANG

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Prof. Huang is a professor and Vice Dean of the School of Social Development in the East China Normal University. He is the Vice Secretary of China’s Social Welfare Research Committee, senior research fellow of the East China Normal University – New York University Joint Institute on Social Development, and the Head of Minhang District’s Social Worker Association, Shanghai.

He has authored over ten books and more than thirty academic articles. His major interests are on migrant population, poverty reduction, and social work interventions. Much of his research has generated policy improvements in Shanghai and beyond.

Dr. Fang FU

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Dr. Fang Fu is an associate professor of the School of Social Development and Public Policy, and is the Secretary of Medical Social Work Professional Committee. Fu received her PhD degree on Social Work and Social Administration at Hong Kong University in 2013, she also received a scholarship to visit Utrecht University in Netherlands during her PhD study. Meanwhile, she is the visiting scholar at Smith College and Eastern Finland University. She has published more than 10 papers in different international journals, such as Journal of Loss and Trauma, OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying, International Social Work, etc. She also chaired and participated in research programs of National Social Science Fund, Ministry of Education Fund, Ministry of Civil Affairs Fund and Shanghai policy decision-making consultation.


Dr. Shanshan HE

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Dr. Shanshan He, is an associate professor in the School of Social Development, East China Normal University. He obtained her bachelor degree in Medicine, her master’s degree in Psychology and Doctorate degree in Social Work. She often interplays her interests with her research. Research she has conducted  includes domestic violence, health in the social sector, issues related to ageing, and children and women’s social welfare…etc. He has published several articles in SSCI journals…e.g., Journal of Sex Research, Violence and Victims. Recently she has conducted a social work intervention program for first-time mothers by collaborating with the Children’s Hospital of Shanghai. She is currently chairing research projects sponsored by the Ministry of Education of China and Shanghai Bureau of Education.



Dr. Yang SHEN

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Dr. Yang Shen did her PhD in Gender Studies at the London School of Economics. She is an assistant professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her PhD thesis focuses on the gendered experiences of migrant workers within the Chinese service sector. Her current research focuses on housing and intimacy, online dating, migrant housing, and informal settlements in China. Her research interests lie in feminist theories, qualitative methods, contemporary China studies, migration studies, and urban informal settlements. 

Her academic articles appeared in China Quarterly, and Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies. She is an ad hoc reviewer for peer-reviewed journals including Men and Masculinities and Chinese Sociological Review. Dr. Shen is also a script consultant and freelance writer for various media outlets in and outside of China. Her current research is supported by a number of prestigious foundations.




Attendance: 30%

Participation in question discussion: 20%

Group presentation: 40%

Final program summary: 10%



Program Director: Dr. Fan YANG (

Program Coordinator: Ms. Lin He ( 

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