A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy
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A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy

Edited by Patricia Kennett

The current context of social policy is one in which many of the old certainties of the past have been eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, domestic preoccupation of social policy has made way for a more integrated, international and outward approach to analysis which looks beyond the boundaries of the state. It is in this context that this Handbook brings together the work of key commentators in the field of comparative analysis in order to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary debates and issues in cross-national social policy research.
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Chapter 4: Social Protection by Other Means: Can it Survive Globalization?

Ramesh Mishra


Ramesh Mishra The implications of globalization for social welfare remain a matter of a great deal of contention and debate. Not unexpectedly much of this debate has focused on the ‘welfare state’, that is on the implications for state programmes of welfare and social expenditure (see for example Rhodes, 1996; Pierson, 1998; Mishra, 1999; Sykes et al., 2001). Far less attention has been paid to what globalization might mean for those institutional patterns identified in the literature as ‘social protection by other means’ (SPM) (Castles, 1989). SPM refers to the fact that besides those institutions typical of the Western welfare state – notably social insurance programmes for income security and medical care and demand management policies to maintain employment – there are other institutional arrangements which though not generally considered as being a part of the formal system of social protection, nonetheless perform broadly similar functions, that is providing economic security and maintaining basic living standards. What the idea of SPM recognizes is that the range of policies and institutions which, directly or indirectly, might contribute to social protection extend beyond those associated with the ‘welfare state’.1 Castles (1989: 7–8), for example, has employed the concept in relation to certain institutional arrangements in the Antipodes but has pointed out, quite rightly, that it has wider applicability. In this chapter the implications of globalization for SPM are examined in three different settings: Australia, Japan and the post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR. No doubt the countries in this...

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