ZiF Research Group

Understanding Southern Welfare: Ideational and Historical Foundations of Social Policies in Brazil, India, China and South Africa, March -- July 2018

Conveners: Ulrike Davy, Lutz Leisering

Since the 1990s, economic liberalization and dramatic growth rates in some Southern countries have been at the forefront of public debates. But it has often gone unnoticed that social policies have been expanding in the global South at the same time. Research on social policy in the global South still is at an early stage. While there is a plethora of reports and studies on the implementation and the outcomes of welfare programmes, the Research Group seeks to advance this field of research by investigating in-depth the ideational and historical foundations of social policies, which are neglected in the dominant approaches from welfare economics and political economy. The Research Group aims at 'understanding' Southern welfare, inquiring into the perceptions, beliefs and ideas of domestic actors, rather than imposing preconceived categories.

The Group focuses on Brazil, India, China and South Africa since the 1940s (for Brazil since the 1930s). These countries have been among the pioneers in the recent expansion of welfare policies, which started in the 1990s. The four countries accentuate the relationship between social policy and economic growth.

For further information on the research group see: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(de)/ZiF/FG/2018Welfare/

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