Browse by title

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 72 items :

  • Welfare Economics x
  • Welfare States x
Clear All Modify Search
You do not have access to this content

Anthony Hall

This chapter by Anthony Hall takes a critical look at cash transfers in Brazil and assesses their strengths and limitations as promoting social investments. Brazil’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme, the world’s largest, which benefits more than a quarter of the country’s total population of more than 200 million, appears to embrace certain elements of a social investment approach, at least in principle. Following World Bank policy guidelines on CCTs, Bolsa Fam'lia aims to strengthen human capital formation by boosting school attendance and encouraging mothers’ participation in vaccination and other preventive health care campaigns. Although the government has announced plans to make the programme more production-oriented, there are few direct links with employment creation, which have remained largely hypothetical. Furthermore, in the quest to maximize electoral gains through a focus on widening cash benefits, there has been a noticeable failure to make any significant headway with broader and longer-term social investments in health, basic sanitation, education, and housing, for example. Such broad-based infrastructure support would serve to underpin the process of economic growth in a more sustainable fashion. This underlying tension will continue to frustrate any pretensions that Brazil might harbour towards developing an authentic social investment model, at least for the foreseeable future. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, Bolsa Familia, social protection, Brazil

You do not have access to this content

Leila Patel

This chapter by Leila Patel discusses the gender dimensions of the Child Support Grant (CSG) in South Africa. This is one of the country’s largest social protection programmes, reaching almost 40 per cent of poor children. The CSG is cited as a social investment in social care in the family and households yielding positive outcomes through the empowerment of women, which in turn contributes to improved child well-being. The author draws on national and community-level data on gender and care in South Africa. The data however also point to the limitations of social investment policies in promoting gender justice, especially where such social policies fail to challenge the gendered nature of care in the family, community and in the social service sector. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, social protection, gender, South Africa

You do not have access to this content

James Midgley, Espen Dahl and Amy Conley Wright

The concluding chapter by the editors offers a short summary of the book and its chapters, drawing attention to the major lessons learned and discussing some of the future directions scholarly research in the field should take. They point out that although the book offers a critique of the Western literature, it is not intended primarily to critique this literature but rather to enhance its international relevance and contribute to the emergence of a globally relevant body of knowledge on social investment that will be helpful to policy-makers and practitioners seeking to promote social welfare around the world. Key words: social investment, international social welfare

You do not have access to this content

Knut Halvorsen, Amy Østertun Geirdal and Anne Grete Tøge

This chapter by Knut Halvorsen, Amy Østertun Geirdal and Anne Grete Tøge critically examines child care policies and programmes in Norway. The experiences of Norwegian children in preschools, schools and families, and the impact on their happiness and mental health, are examined in relation to other European and Western children. The assumption that social investments in children and parents are always in the best interests of the well-being of children is questioned. Drawing on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1989, the authors contend that human rights, capabilities and citizens’ perspectives should be considered, as an alternative to the social investment perspective. It is argued that the child’s present experience (being) should be balanced with future-oriented investments (becoming).

You do not have access to this content

Espen Dahl and Thomas Lorentzen

This chapter by Espen Dahl and Thomas Lorentzen examines labour market policy and related social polices in Norway, focusing on a selected set of recent reforms as well as their outcomes such as work participation and earnings, in particular for disadvantaged groups that are often targets of the reforms. A rather mixed picture emerges. Some reforms and parts of larger reforms carry the stamp of a true social investment approach, for example the reform in the Welfare and Labour Administration, and the Qualification Programme targeted at social assistance recipients. Other reforms, such as changes in the Work Environment Act, cuts in benefits for disability beneficiaries with low pre-disability earnings, and stricter conditions for receiving social assistance benefit fit poorly with a social investment strategy. Yet, it should be added that these reforms mostly tend to be carefully designed, are rather moderate in nature and restricted in scope. As these reforms are recent, their consequences are still unknown. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, labour markets, employment policy, Norway

You do not have access to this content

James Lee

This chapter by James Lee discusses the role of housing in social investment with reference to Singapore and other East Asian countries where housing serves not only to meet shelter needs but also as a powerful investment tool that has major long-term welfare effects. Traditional social policy theories have been vague on the social investment impact of social policy, especially with regard to housing policy. Its dual nature, as both consumption and investment, has made it difficult to align with other social polices such as health care and education. This chapter examines its role as social investment in two contrasting high-growth urban economies in East Asia: Singapore and Hong Kong. First, it tackles a gap in contemporary social policy debates and explains why the social investment aspect has been neglected. Second, through the case studies of Hong Kong and Singapore, it explains the important relationship between housing policy and social security. The purpose is to look beyond the residential dimension of housing and to establish a connection between housing policy and asset-building. Given its enormous potentials on investment and returns, its impact on quality of life, wealth and social justice, a thorough understanding of the role of housing policy is vital to realizing the social investment potentials of contemporary social policy. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, housing, Hong Kong, Singapore

This content is available to you

James Midgley, Espen Dahl and Amy Conley Wright

You do not have access to this content

James Midgley

This chapter by James Midgley discusses asset building at the community level in the United States where community development programmes have a long history and have prioritized inventions that transcend traditional welfare approaches. Noting that the literature on social investment has paid little if any attention to investments at the community level, this chapter examines the way the federal and state governments of the United States, supported by nonprofit organizations, have sought to invest in low-income communities by mobilizing assets, expanding employment, increasing access to education and affordable housing, and raising standards of living. It begins by tracing the origins of the community social investment approach in the late nineteenth century, when the settlement house movement introduced a number of initiatives designed to deal with urban poverty and deprivation brought about by industrialization, urbanization and mass migration into the United States. These activities were subsequently augmented by programmes introduced during the War on Poverty in the 1960s. The chapter discusses the way these programmes have evolved and now comprise a variety of community and asset building initiatives throughout the country. It concludes by assessing the achievements as well as limitations of the community social investment approach in the United States. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, community development, United States of America

You do not have access to this content

Joe C. B. Leung and Yuebin Xu

This chapter by Joe Leung and Yuebin Xu discusses pension reform in China and questions whether the government’s pension policies effectively promote social investments that produce future benefits to elders. Facing the challenges of the ageing population, escalating pension payments and imminent declining workforce, China has to formulate a sustainable, adequate and affordable pension system. Using pension reforms as an example, this chapter illustrates that harmonizing pension reforms are regarded as the key instrument of social investment strategy to promote economic performance. Pension reforms are pivotal to restructure the labor market, facilitate labour mobility and integration across regions, occupational sectors, and rural and urban areas, as well as to enhance the quality of human capital. In short, a modernized economy has to be accompanied by a universal and equitable social security system. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, pensions, social protection, China

This content is available to you

Edited by James Midgley, Espen Dahl and Amy Conley Wright