Inequality, Social Protection and Social Justice
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Inequality, Social Protection and Social Justice

James Midgley

This thought-provoking book examines the role of social protection in reducing inequality and enhancing social justice. It assesses social protection’s impact on inequality in different parts of the world and shows that if carefully designed, adequately funded and effectively implemented, it can make a significant contribution to reducing income, gender and other forms of inequality. In this way, it can promote egalitarian ideals and enhance social justice.
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Chapter 2: The dynamics of inequality

James Midgley


Although inequality is often regarded as a static condition, Chapter 2 observes that it has changed over the years and is amenable to policy intervention. It offers a global, historical overview of inequality, showing how natural events, as well as wars and epidemics, have affected inequality. However, it observes that purposeful government action has played a major role in shaping inequality, especially during the twentieth century. Contrary to the view that inequality is the result of ‘natural’ social and economic forces, it contends that inequality is a human construct which is amenable to policy intervention. Before discussing the major policy approaches which have been adopted to reduce inequality, the major ‘drivers’ or factors responsible for changing inequality are discussed since these should be addressed through policy intervention.

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