Handbook on Society and Social Policy
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Handbook on Society and Social Policy

Edited by Nicholas Ellison and Tina Haux

This comprehensive Handbook provides a unique overview of the key issues and challenges facing society and social policy in the twenty-first century, discussing how welfare is conceptualised, organised and delivered in contemporary global society. Chapters engage with specific areas of social policy as well as with the social divisions and institutional infrastructures that underpin them. The Handbook also considers how social policy should respond to the challenges posed by austerity, human migration and the climate crisis.
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Chapter 20: The Middle East and North Africa

Rana Jawad


MENA countries have a combination of residual and corporatist governance models in relation to social policy. Welfare state provision is focused mostly on social security benefits for a limited group of recipients and dominant social safety nets and in-kind assistance, often provided by community, religious or family based social networks. This has been the system in practice for several decades now since independence in the 1940s and shows no sign of dramatic reform. The MENA region covers high income countries such as Oman as well as low to middle income countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, some countries in this region are experiencing large refugee movements and interventions as part of international coalitions aimed at rebuilding countries following civil wars in countries such as Syria. Thus, it may be concluded that MENA countries have made small step changes in relation to social policy since the Arab uprisings. One of the key challenges for all the MENA cluster countries is to establish coherent social policies that can be financed from state funds in a sustainable manner.

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