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 4: Features of social protection

James Midgley


Chapter 4 examines different definitions of social protection and notes that the term has replaced older synonyms such as social security and income protection. It emphasizes social protection’s role in meeting people’s financial needs through either maintaining or subsidizing income. The major types of social protection, including social insurance, social assistance, universal benefits, employer mandates and tax credits are discussed. Recent poverty alleviation innovations, such as conditional cash transfers and categorical means tested pensions and universal allowances are also examined. These have been given high priority in the Global South, and their expansion over the last 20 years has been truly remarkable. The different normative perspectives that inform social protection policies are examined and it contends that an egalitarian approach based on social rights is best suited to achieving social justice through social protection.

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