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This chapter analyses the connections between Donald Trump and Brexit, particularly the role and nature of globalisation and related economic changes, asking how a socially progressive form of globalisation might respond to the challenges laid down by these two seismic political victories. The results of the UK’s referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election in 2016 have caused many commentators to re-evaluate the assumptions of neoliberal globalisation. Trump’s election, in particular, poses a challenge not only to neoliberal economics, but also to liberal democratic politics and the rule of law — both domestically and internationally. The chapter then argues for an alternative vision to that of neoliberal globalisation on the one hand, and a resort to reactionary nationalism on the other: a clear commitment to tackle the gross inequalities that have characterised the period of neoliberal globalisation and to work towards socially just forms of global governance.

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Trade has always been an important form of economic relationship between people of different communities and countries. International trade in the period after the Second World War laid the basis for the kind of international economic integration we now associate with globalisation. This chapter reviews how the international trading system and its governance has developed in the post-war period, what forms trade policy-making takes, and how trade relates to the welfare state and ‘welfare’ more generally. It begins with a discussion of the different ways that economists and social policy analysts think about welfare, and why trade is important for social policy. It then explains how the trading system has developed in the post-war period, before looking in detail at trade policy-making processes and institutions as core parts of global economic governance. The role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the centrality of bargaining between states is explained. The final section examines in detail the social policy implications of international trade, focusing on the relationship between the welfare state and trade.

The development of capitalism as an economic system has been intimately entwined with the development of national states. States have played a crucial role in facilitating the development of capitalism through providing a system of law and contract that guarantees the rights of property owners and sets a framework within which exchange can take place, as well as legitimising and regulating a common currency. Of course, trade across the borders created by these states has taken place as long as those borders have been in place, but the existence of national institutions, governments and currencies has meant that such trade is necessarily international, that is, it takes place between countries as well as between specific individuals or firms.

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The goal of global poverty reduction is now at the heart of an international consensus, enshrined within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and pursued by international institutions such as the World Bank and governments in high- and low-income countries alike. But deciding what poverty is, how it should be measured and the best ways to reduce it are not straightforward. Furthermore, related phenomena also demand our attention, particularly the current degree of global inequality and its causes and consequences. In addressing these issues, the aim of this chapter is not to summarise the huge volume of literature on poverty and inequality that now exists, or to explain basic concepts relating to poverty and inequality, which can be found elsewhere. Rather, it aims to explore and explain the challenges of measuring and tackling poverty and inequality at the global level. It will discuss some national-level concepts and data for various countries, but its chief aim in doing so is to explain how these are related to processes of globalisation and how they are incomplete without a global analysis.

The chapter discusses global poverty and inequality in turn. In both cases, it discusses issues of measurement first before going on to discuss the politics and policies related to tackling the problem. It is worth noting from the beginning, however, that measurement issues are not purely technical matters, but are themselves highly political.

Ruth Lister (2021, pp 3–4) argues that ‘there is no single concept of poverty that stands outside history and culture. It is a construction of specific societies.

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This edition of this series presents an up-to-date and diverse review of the best in social policy scholarship. It brings together specially commissioned reviews of key areas, research examining important debates in the field, and considers a range of issues including assessments of Labour’s social policy after three terms in office, service-user involvement and the labour market impact of the economic crisis along with the winner of the SPA’s best postgraduate paper award.

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Globalisation and its potential impact upon welfare states has been debated frequently in recent years. The core of this debate has been about the extent to which changes in the world market have placed new constraints on national governments in terms of the economic and social policies they may implement. Deterministic claims that globalisation effectively robs governments of policy autonomy, spelling the end of social democratic arrangements based on closed national economies, have been countered by those arguing that the globalisation of the world economy has been exaggerated, or that states retain substantial room for manoeuvre. This is an important debate that is briefly surveyed in the first section of this chapter. However, what most of these accounts have in common is that they are focused at the level of the nation state and the impact upon it of the world market in general. This chapter shows how debates about welfare and globalisation may be focused at other levels of analysis, concentrating particularly on a meso-level of analysis. The framework developed by Ruigrok and van Tulder (1995) is adapted to an analysis of the relationship between internationalised private providers of long-term care operating in the UK and three other key actors: the state, staff and unions, and older people themselves. The chapter contests deterministic claims about the loss of state power by concluding that the state is the key actor in shaping the long-term care sector. However, the outcome of state policies is likely to be a trend towards greater concentration and internationalisation in the sector, an outcome in the long-term interests of those providers that are already large and internationalised.

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Trade is the earliest and most basic form of economic relationship between people of different communities and countries. International trade in the period after the Second World War laid the basis for the kind of economic integration we now associate with ‘globalisation’. This chapter aims to explain the significance of international trade to current debates within global social policy. It reviews how the international trading system and its governance has developed in the post-war period, what forms trade policy making takes, and how trade relates to the welfare state, welfare services and ‘welfare’ more generally. It begins with a discussion of the different ways that economists and social policy analysts think about welfare, and why trade is important for social policy. It then explains how the trading system has developed in the post-war period, before looking in detail at policy-making processes and institutions. The role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the centrality of bargaining between states are explained.

The final two sections examine in detail the social policy implications of international trade. While the penultimate section discusses the relationship of the welfare state to international trade in general, the final section looks at the development of such trade in welfare services themselves. These issues have become even more important since the global economic crisis that began in 2007-08 but, as we shall see, the relationship between international trade and welfare can be a complex one.

The development of capitalism as an economic system has been intimately entwined with the development of national states.

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The goal of global poverty reduction appears now to be at the heart of an international consensus, enshrined within the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their successors, and pursued by international institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and governments in high- and low-income countries alike. But deciding what poverty is, how it should be measured and the best ways to reduce it is not straightforward.

Furthermore, related phenomena also demand our attention, particularly the current degree of global inequality, its causes and consequences. In addressing these issues, the aim of this chapter is not to summarise the huge volume of literature on poverty and inequality that now exists, nor to explain basic concepts relating to poverty and inequality, which can be found elsewhere. Rather, it aims to explore and explain the challenges of measuring and tackling poverty and inequality at the global level. It discusses some national-level concepts and data for various countries, but its chief aim in doing so is to explain how these are related to processes of globalisation and how they are incomplete without a global analysis.

The chapter discusses global poverty and inequality in turn. In both cases, it discusses issues of measurement first before going on to discuss the politics and policies related to tackling the problem. It is worth noting from the beginning, however, that measurement issues are not purely technical matters, but are themselves highly political.

It is useful to begin with the distinction made by Ruth Lister (2004) between concepts, definitions and measures.

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With a contemporary overview of global social policy formation, the third edition of this leading textbook identifies key issues, debates and priorities for action in social policy across the Global South and North.

Accessible and lively, it incorporates seven new chapters covering theory, social justice, climate, migration, gender, young people and water, energy and food. The original chapters have also been fully updated to reflect major developments in the fast-changing world of global social policy. Key features include:

• overview and summary boxes to bookend each chapter;

• questions for discussion and follow-up activities;

• further reading and resources.

Exploring what it means to locate human welfare within a global framework of social policy analysis and action, this textbook offers a perfect guide for curious students.

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Despite a growing literature on corporations as political actors, relatively little is known about how alcohol industry actors attempt to influence public policy. In the context of contemporary debates about the minimum pricing of alcoholic beverages, and drawing on semi-structured interviews with a range of key informants, this article investigates the means by which alcohol industry actors gain access to policy makers and the strategies used to influence policy. It finds that the strategies of alcohol industry actors are focused on long-term relationship building with policy makers, involving the provision and interpretation of information and the promotion of various forms of self-regulation.

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A foundational idea in global social policy (GSP) is that the enactment of social policy transcends the nation-state. That is, social policies are formulated in many extra-national sites, spaces and forums that are outside the sole control of national governments and other domestic actors (see Chapters 1 and 2, this volume). If the forms that GSPs take and the conditions under which they develop are distinct from those of national welfare states and social policies, what does this mean for the ways in which we theorise GSP? Few would argue that theories of national social policy development are directly applicable to GSP, but the real questions are whether existing theories can be repurposed for GSP, or whether entirely new theories need to be devised. If the latter, from which bodies of scholarly thought might we seek inspiration for developing GSP theory?

What role does theory play in GSP studies? One part of the answer is that theory helps make sense of complexity. Theory systematically – that is, according to a logic – prioritises and orders the many different elements involved in the production, distribution and outcomes of individual and collective welfare and the relationships between them. Different theories vary in their priorities for what they aim to explain, and accordingly emphasise different elements. For example, a theory about the origins of GSP might focus on broad social, economic or political conditions, whereas a theory about how GSP is implemented might focus on institutional design. No single theory can explain all aspects of GSP.

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