Table of Contents

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition

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 2: Globalization, human security and social policy: North and South

Andrés Pérez-Baltodano

Subjects: social policy and sociology, comparative social policy


Increasing global interconnectedness has generated new forms of human insecurity that demand the formulation of strategies that transcend national boundaries. This is one of the arguments contained in the influential 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’ (ibid., p. 3). This definition of human security has become ‘central to several global initiatives, has been picked up by national governments and is reflected in the agendas and policy debates of regional intergovernmental organizations’ (UNDP, 2010, p. 17). The link between globalization and human insecurity can be found in both rich and poor countries. The internationalization of production, for example, has reduced job security in many sectors of the national economies of the North. At the same time the globalization of Western values – perceived by many as a process of ‘Americanization’ – has increased ‘cultural insecurity’ in many societies of the South. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, added a new dimension to the relationship between globalization and human security.

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