Social Protection, Economic Growth and Social Change
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Social Protection, Economic Growth and Social Change Goals, Issues and Trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa

Goals, Issues and Trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa

Edited by James Midgley and David Piachaud

This highly original and thought-provoking book examines the recent expansion of social protection in China, India, Brazil and South Africa – four countries experiencing rapid economic growth and social change.
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Chapter 2: Social protection in countries experiencing rapid economic growth: goals and functions

James Midgley

Extract

The recent expansion of social protection in countries experiencing rapid economic growth such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa has focused attention on its role in economic development. This issue has become increasingly relevant as academics and policymakers in these and other rapidly developing economies have recognized the need to formulate social protection policies that are compatible with economic development. Although this topic has not received the attention it deserves from social policy writers, a variety of arguments on this issue have been formulated. These range from the idea that social protection should be based solely on non-economic welfare criteria to the view that social protection should be specifically designed to serve economic objectives. Academic debates on the role of social protection in economic development have not been widely used to inform policy and often goals have emerged incrementally or have been uncritically inserted into national legislation or adopted from international treaties without careful thought being given to their feasibility or appropriateness. Sometimes social protection policies and programmes do not have well-defined goals.

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