Table of Contents

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy

Elgar original reference

Edited by Patricia Kennett

The current context of social policy is one in which many of the old certainties of the past have been eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, domestic preoccupation of social policy has made way for a more integrated, international and outward approach to analysis which looks beyond the boundaries of the state. It is in this context that this Handbook brings together the work of key commentators in the field of comparative analysis in order to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary debates and issues in cross-national social policy research.

Chapter 3: Globalization, Human Security and Social Policy: North And South

Andrés Pérez-Baltodano

Subjects: social policy and sociology, comparative social policy


Andrés Pérez-Baltodano Introduction On the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize, 100 Nobel laureates signed a public statement in which they pointed out that the security of the planet depends on environmental and social reform at the global level: ‘It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls’ (The Globe and Mail, 2001, A21). In their statement, the Nobel laureates echoed an argument that has become almost universally accepted by scholars and people in general: increasing global interconnectedness has created a crisis of human security that demands the formulation of strategies that transcend national boundaries. This argument was the central message of the United Nations Development Report of 1994 entitled New Dimensions of Human Security (see UNDP, 1994). In this report, the UN defined human security as ‘safety from the constant threats of hunger, disease, crime and repression’; and ‘protection from sudden and hurtful disruptions in the pattern of our daily lives – whether in our homes, in our jobs, in our communities or in our environment’ (UNDP, 1994: 3). The UN has pointed out more recently that globalization exacerbates human insecurity in both rich and poor countries: ‘In the globalizing world of shrinking time, shrinking space and disappearing borders, people are confronting new threats to human security – sudden and hurtful disruptions in the pattern of daily life’ (UNDP, 1999: 3). This chapter explores the phenomenon of globalization as a historical process that challenges the capacity...

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