Critical policy analysis and social protection in the Global South: a conceptual framework
(University of Bath)
Paper short abstract:
The paper advocates for a new generation of social protection research that critically analyses social policy-making processes in the Global South. It proposes and analyses three orders of discourse: social risk management, social justice/social contracts; institutionalisation of social protection.
Paper long abstract:
This paper advocates for a new generation of social protection (SP) research that takes seriously the analysis of social policy-making processes in the Global South. It combines theoretical insights from social policy and critical policy analysis to highlight the importance of policy framing in shaping development and social welfare outcomes. This approach is important because of the endurance of SP as a global policy orientation at a time when its operationalisation in policy terms appears to be narrower than its professed goals. The paper categorises SP according to three orders of discourse: social risk management, social justice/social contracts, ("ex ante") institutionalisation of social protection (specifically social assistance), in order to address areas of 'discourse closure' in the conceptualisation of SP. On the basis of this categorisation, the paper proposes a framework for analysing SP that highlights the importance of three elements to aid SP policy operationalisation: (1) state-civil society relations in the provision of services; (2) the ethical and not only legal parameters of SP; (3) the enhancement of social cohesion as a final SP outcome. These elements support a process-oriented analysis of SP that can better ascertain its long-term impact on social policy agendas in the Global South.
Understanding social protection as technologies of social ordering and reproduction within contemporary development