Chapter 13: Social Policy Regimes in the Developing World
Ian Gough Introduction This chapter starts from the absence bemoaned by James Midgley in the previous chapter, but addresses it using a methodological approach which he dismisses. The continuing absence of scholarly debate on social policy in development contexts is as remarkable as it is regrettable. Social policy studies have continued to develop an institutionalist framework reﬂecting a particularistic Western perspective. Of course, development studies have ﬁlled the gap and made notable contributions, but no sustained dialogue has occurred between Northern social policy studies and development studies. It is this bridge that this chapter attempts to construct.1 Midgley accuses ‘mainstream comparative social policy’ of neglecting normative, explanatory and practical issues in favour of ‘classiﬁcatory activities’. Elsewhere with Len Doyal I have tried to construct a universal normative framework via a theory of human needs (Doyal and Gough, 1991). In subsequent articles I have applied this theory to the evaluation of different economic systems as frameworks for satisfying human needs, and to a statistical analysis of cross-national variations in need-satisfaction (Gough, 2000, chapters 2 and 5). These issues are not directly addressed here, though they inform some of what follows. My concern in this chapter is positive and explanatory, yet it begins from a classiﬁcatory approach. The aim is to reconceptualize the welfare regime paradigm developed within Northern social policy studies to provide a rich, open and rewarding framework for understanding the nature and diversity of social policies in the South. Midgley has rightly criticized the relevance of...
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