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Global Social Policy: An Application of Welfare State Theory

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JournalJournal of International and Comparative Social Policy
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jan 2018
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)40-57
Early online date10/12/17
Original languageEnglish


Global social policy (GSP) takes different forms from those of national welfare states, since it depends on the activities of an array of international organisations and transnational actors. Three broad theoretical approaches have dominated the literature on national welfare state development: those focused on processes of economic development, industrialisation and urbanisation; those focused on class struggle and political mobilisation; and those focused on the effects of political institutions. This article applies each of these broad theoretical approaches to the development of GSP in order to illuminate the nature of GSP, its likely future development, and the constraints upon such development. It is concluded that the dominant forms taken by GSP will continue to be piecemeal, minimalist and essentially neoliberal for as long as an effective global political movement in favour of a more extensive GSP is absent.

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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • global social policy; global social governance; welfare state theory; welfare state development

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