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Towards a General Theory of Welfare Regimes in Developing Countries Ian Gough. The Millennium Development Goals. N ew interest today in social policy in developing countries. Millennium Development Goals commit the UN and its member states to , for example :

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Towards a General Theory of Welfare Regimes

in Developing Countries

Ian Gough

the millennium development goals
The Millennium Development Goals

New interest today in social policy in developing countries. Millennium Development Goals commit the UN and its member states to, for example:

  • reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by half between 1990 and 2015,
  • to enroll all children in primary school by 2015,
  • to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 (!),
  • to reduce infant and child mortality rates by two-thirds, maternal mortality rates by three quarters between 1990 and 2015,
  • and to provide access for all who need reproductive health services by 2015.

These bold and ambitious goals mark a new step forward in global discourses on social policy.

social policy in developing countries
Social Policy in Developing Countries
  • New interest among international governmental organizations in the social policy and development
  • Dialogue between two fields of study: social policy and development studies
  • Book to be published by CUP in February 2004: Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America: Social Policy in Development Contexts. By Gough and Wood, with Barrientos, Bevan, Davis and Room
universal trends v path dependent regimes
Universal trends v. path-dependent regimes

We adapt the welfare regime approach, originally developed by Esping-Andersen

Thisapproach emphasizes diversity, difference and divergenceacross the world.

It thus differs from two dominant theories of universalizing paths of development at this conference:

  • Economic globalisation and ‘social dumping’
  • World society theory and global standard setting
a middle range approach
A middle range approach
  • Welfare regime framework: different forms of welfare regime coexist in the contemporary world. Furthermore they typically follow different paths of development.
  • But do not move to opposite extreme, the exaggeration of the uniqueness of societies, cultures and states.
  • Instead, a middle range theory, operating between the universalizing conceptions of globalisation and world society theory, and bottom-up studies of specific cultures and communities
the welfare state regime model
The welfare state regime model

A welfare state regime is at the most general level an institutional matrix of market, state and family forms, which generates welfare outcomes.

  • a) welfare mix: pattern of state, market and household forms of social provision,
  • b) welfare outcomes, and
  • c) stratification effects.
welfare state regimes cont
Welfare state regimes (cont)

Huge debates. Modify to include:

  • Health services to modify ‘life processes’
  • Education and investment in human capacities
  • Recognise the influences of gendered life processes.
is it relevant to the south
Is it relevant to the South?

Yes, a powerful framework for studying social policy in development contexts:

  • Concerned with broader ‘welfare mix’
  • Focuses not only on institutions but outcomes
  • Embeds welfare institutions in the ‘deep structures’ of social reproduction: social policy not merely a technical but a power issue
  • Distinguishes between groups of developing countries according to their features and trajectory or paths of development.
from welfare state regimes to welfare regimes
From welfare state regimes to welfare regimes

But needs radical modification:

  • Welfare state regimes refer to the family of social arrangements and welfare outcomes found in the OECD world of welfare states.
  • Welfare regime is a more generic term, referring to the entire set of institutional arrangements, policies and practices affecting welfare outcomes and stratification effects in diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • Thus welfare state regimes form one ‘family’ of welfare regimes alongside others.
summary 1 welfare state regimes
Summary: 1. welfare state regimes
  • Welfare mix: markets (labour markets, financial markets and social provision markets), the family (strategising, redistributing and provisioning) and the ‘welfare state’ (transfers, services and redistribution).
  • Advanced capitalist economies, formal labour markets, relatively autonomous states and well-entrenched democratic institutions.
  • Broad political settlements underpin social rights, taxation and public provisioning.
  • Mitigates economic insecurity and poverty to varying degrees.
  • Reinforces different class coalitions and interest groups -> path-dependent reproduction of social policies through time.
summary 2 informal security regimes
Summary: 2. informal security regimes
  • Heavy reliance on community and family to meet security needs
  • These relationships usually hierarchical and asymmetrical.
  • This results in problematic inclusion or adverse incorporation: poorer people trade some short-term security in return for longer-term vulnerability and dependence.
  • This reinforces underlying patron-client relations
  • Highly resistant to civil society pressures and measures to reform them along welfare state lines.
  • But provide series of informal rights and afford some measure of informal security.
summary 3 insecurity regimes
Summary: 3. insecurity regimes
  • Overwhelming reliance on individuals in households generates gross insecurity and poor levels of need satisfaction
  • Emergence of stable informal security mechanisms blocked
  • Powerful external players interact with weak internal actors to generate conflict and political instability.
  • Insecurity regimes spill over national boundaries.
  • Governments cannot play even a vestigial governance and security-enhancing role.
  • A vicious circle of insecurity, vulnerability and suffering for all but a small elite and their enforcers and clients.
welfare regimes a cluster analysis
Welfare regimes: a cluster analysis

1) Actual or potential welfare state regimes: high state commitments + relatively high welfare outcomes. Much of Central Europe (with some representatives in Eastern Europe); the southern cone of Latin America; Kenya, Algeria and Tunisia in Africa, and Thailand.

 2) More effective informal security regimes: relatively good outcomes but below-average state spending and low international flows. Parts of Southeast Asia (probably including China), Sri Lanka, the remaining countries of Latin America for which we have data, together with parts of the Middle East.

 3) Less effective informal security regimes: poor levels of welfare, low public commitments and moderate international inflows. South Asia (excluding Sri Lanka but probably including India) and certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

 4) Externally dependent insecurity regimes: heavily dependent on aid and/or remittances with very poor welfare outcomes. The bulk of sub-Saharan Africa for which we have data.

latin america towards a liberal informal welfare state regime armando barrientos
Latin America:Towards a liberal-informal welfare state regime(Armando Barrientos)
  • welfare state regimes: a countervailing social policy logic
  • liberal regimes: more market-oriented welfare system.
  • liberal-informal: much of population in rural and urban informal sectors are excluded thus relying on informal security regime.
  • External pressures from global markets and the US and international institutions destroyed the import substitution strategy on which rested a ‘conservative-informal’ welfare regime not unlike that in southern Europe before the 1980s.
east asia the limits of productivist welfare regimes ian gough
East Asia: The limits of productivist welfare regimes(Ian Gough)

Productivist welfare regimes:

  • Prioritise economic over social policy
  • Some social investment in basic education and health
  • Successful and relatively sustained informal welfare via family and household strategies reinforces absence of state social protection
  • Vulnerability exposed by 1997 Asian financial crisis
  • Few significant moves towards a welfare state regime outside Korea and Taiwan.
  • Different forms of capitalism between Northeast and Southeast Asia
bangladesh and the indian sub continent precarious informal security regimes peter davis
Bangladesh (and the Indian sub-continent): Precarious informal security regimes (Peter Davis)
  • Complex welfare mix
  • Vertical patron-client relationships structure interest representation
  • Close interrelation between the international donors and actors and internal elites and patrons
  • ‘A psychology of plunder’
  • ‘Adverse incorporation’ blocks more radical reform. Lack of citizenship link prevents the emergence of a positive political feedback via middle class support
africa potential insecurity regimes philippa bevan
Africa: Potential insecurity regimes(Philippa Bevan)
  • Weak states open to powerful external forces
  • Interaction with local patrons reshapes patronage relationships, resulting in precarious adverse incorporation and dependence of the population;
  • Or exclusion or domination
  • Generalised insecurity and suffering
  • An unstable institutional landscape requires continuous adaptation by the poor as they negotiate short term solutions to welfare in the absence of longer term ones.
policy implications
Policy implications
  • No ‘one size fits all’ (cf WDR 2004)
  • Adapt social policy reform to welfare regime
  • Insecurity regimes: ‘good governance’ plus reformed international architecture
  • Informal security regimes: ‘de-clientelisation’
  • Hybrid welfare regimes: contrast Latin America and East Asia
  • Combine universalism of ends with relativism of means
  • Need innovative social policies in South
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