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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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Author: Chris Holden

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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Analysis and debate in social policy, 2011

This edition of Social Policy Review presents an extensive analysis of the coalition government’s social policies. In an expanded first section, experts in a range of policy areas analyse the rationale behind, and implications of, government reforms, whilst the second section examines education policy in an international context. It is essential reading for social policy academics and students and for anyone who is interested in the implications of government policy.

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Analysis and debate in social policy, 2009

Social Policy Review provides students, academics and all those interested in welfare issues with critical analyses of progress and change in areas of major interest during the past year. This year the Review takes the opportunity of the 60th anniversary of the key legislation founding the welfare state in the UK to provide a comprehensive overview of policy developments in the UK and internationally.

The first part brings together a selection of papers which have been commissioned to examine historical and contemporary developments in policy tackling Beveridge’s five evils of want, idleness, disease, squalor and ignorance, looking at how policy has changed since the aims and ideology of the inception of the post-war welfare state. The second part looks at the issue of the current challenges facing children’s welfare services internationally: always a contemporary and contentious issue. The final part brings together a selection of papers looking at the effect of policy development at various governance levels on social policy.

The contributions bring together an exciting mix of internationally renowned authors to provide comprehensive discussion of the some of the most challenging issues facing social policy today.

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