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  • Author or Editor: Ilcheong Yi x
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Challenges and Innovations in Emerging Economies

Drawing on international case studies from emerging economies and developing countries including South Africa, India, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Indonesia, China and Russia, this book examines the rise, nature and effectiveness of recent developments in social policy in the Global South.

By analysing these new emerging trends, the book aims to understand how they can contribute to meaningful change and whether they could offer alternative solutions to the social, economic and environmental policy challenges facing low-income countries within a contemporary global context.

It pays particular attention to reforms and innovations relating to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the move away from a welfare state, towards a ‘welfare multitude’, in which new actors, such as civil society organisations, play an increasingly important role in social policy.

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Attaining the ambitious, transformative visions and goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires a radical departure from business as usual in designing and implementing strategies, policies and action plans. An innovative approach is needed more than ever in the social policy sector since new and significant challenges and risks have, albeit at different speeds, started to raise questions on the validity of existing policy tools.

Climate change poses some of the greatest economic, social, and sometimes political challenges of the twenty-first century. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will accelerate climate change and threaten the lives and well-being of present and future generations and the planet itself. Climate change causes significant negative consequences in terms of production, particularly in the sectors of agriculture, coastal resources, energy, forestry, water and tourism, which are major industries of many developing countries. Inequality has increased in almost all countries since the 1980s, which marks the end of a postwar egalitarian regime. The level of inequality in terms of income accounted for by the nation’s top 10 per cent earners is particularly high (more than 50 per cent of national income) in many developing countries in Central and Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and India. The latest estimates hint at the COVID-19 crisis further reinforcing these trends, not only in terms of financial inequalities, but even regarding gender, formal and informal workers, and marginalized racial and ethnic groups, among others. Extreme poverty remains entrenched in many parts of the world.

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Over the past few decades, there has been considerable dynamism in terms of discourse and practice in the social policy field. In the Introduction, we introduced six themes around which the discussions of the chapters in this volume have introduced new theoretical and analytical frameworks and the development of new social policies and programmes in non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. These were: a rights-based approach to social welfare; integration of social policy into other public policies; the newly assumed role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in delivering social services in transition economies; the emergence of supranational-level social policy; informal workers shaping the system of social policy programmes; and national ownership of social policy in the context of development cooperation.

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