This chapter provides an overview of key debates surrounding social movements in the social policy and development literatures. It reviews the development literature relating to social movements, highlighting the major theoretical shifts which have occurred, and which have led to significant changes in the way social movements are understood within processes of social change. The chapter then looks at social movements and social policy in the development context, concluding with a reflection on the possibility for cross-disciplinary learning between the fields of development and social policy. It argues that the development literature may benefit from the use of tools developed within the study of social policy to produce closer and more nuanced understandings of the ways in which social movements are able to contribute to material social change. At the same time, there is much for social policy to take from the development literature focused on social movements. Its ability to grasp a difference from the modernist world in which the discipline of social policy originally developed brings with it a challenge to more deeply consider the ways in which the very different realities of the Global South may impact on the theoretical assumptions which have traditionally underpinned social policy scholarship.
Michael Rogan and Laura Alfers
This chapter is concerned with the labour market as an entry point into recent social policy and development debates. In particular, it explores the role of employment-based social protection where benefits such as health care, pensions and insurance are provided through the employer rather than the state. The provision of social protection through the employment relationship highlights, in some countries, the tension between universal social provision and more ‘productivist’ conceptions of citizenship. The latter is linked with the view that measurable economic productivity is central to organizing society. This has led to important debates about the linking of social policy to employment; a debate which has a particular nuance in the development context because of high levels of informality, but which is also now relevant across the globe. The chapter reviews some of these debates and suggests that, particularly in the countries of the Global South, the recognition of work can be achieved by working within a productivist approach which preserves some of the original social compact between labour and capital.