ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Welfare Discourses in the Global South

In the global South, contextual and motivational factors guide the state policies on social welfare policies and cannot be analogous to the idea of a typical welfare state in the industrialised democracies. Both normative and pragmatic considerations influence the states provisions for the needy. Social protection of the deprived is the precursor to economic change and legitimisation of a democratic state. Four overlapping discourses are outlined. The modernisation approach assumes that rising prosperity benefits would gradually trickle down and raise the living standard of people. The power resources approach banks on partisan politics to achieve electoral outcomes by extending welfare protection to specific sets of citizens. The basic needs perspective assumes that greater welfare provisions would facilitate economic development. And democratic responsiveness relies on the preferences of the voters as the prime determinant of welfare policy.

According to the dictionary, welfare means health, happiness, prosperity, well-being, and financial and other assistance given to people in need. Protection against adversity, natural or temporal has been a challenge for every human society. Traditionally, the local community or religious groups took care of the needs of the marginalised. This responsibility has gradually shifted to the state. No government of modern contemporary states ignores provisions for welfare policies in its budget. Some countries are quite generous and make extensive arrangements. Others make limited provisions in view of scarcity of resources or other competing demands. The shrinking of welfare budgets as a consequence of globalisation is getting reversed, especially in the global South. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us acutely aware of a strong need to provide social benefits. The necessity of social protection and social justice is once again on the top of every governments policy agenda.1

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Published On : 27th Feb, 2024

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