Social Policy in a Developing World

Social Policy in a Developing World

Edited by Rebecca Surender and Robert Walker

This volume provides a critical analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing social protection systems in the global south, and examines current strategies for addressing poverty and welfare needs in the region. In particular, the text explores the extent to which the analytic models and concepts for the study of social policy in the industrialised North are relevant in a developing country context. The volume analyses the various institutions, actors, instruments and mechanisms involved in the welfare arrangements of developing countries and provides a study of the contexts, development and future trajectory of social policy in the global South.

Chapter 13: Conclusion: towards the analysis of social policy in a developing world

Robert Walker

Subjects: development studies, development studies, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, social policy in emerging countries


Social policy is increasingly a reality in the developing world. It typically comprises a rather complex web of legislation, institutions and provision that seeks to meet the kind of individual and social needs that are not adequately met by markets, be it for reasons of effectiveness or ideology. But social policy also exists as a language of enquiry and this too is becoming increasingly evident in developing countries alongside development studies. Social policy analysis takes the first form of social policy as its subject matter and applies a set of concepts and methods to understand its nature, origins and effectiveness. This volume is about both kinds of social policy. Authors have sought to elucidate much better than hitherto the social policies and institutions that exist in developing countries, to explain their form, evolution and trajectories and to consider their effectiveness and sustainability. In so doing they have used, but also questioned, concepts, theories, typologies and approaches to analysis that form the core of academic social policy as it has developed in the global North. From its origins with the social reformers of the later nineteenth century, social policy taught in higher education has gradually been released from a reform driven agenda focussed on the role of the state within a nation state. It now adopts a more neutral position apprised of the myriad of institutions that interact in the design, delivery and challenge of social policy at local, national and multinational level.

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