The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa

ISBN : 9780198850342

Sam Hickey; Tom Lavers; Miguel Nino-Zarazua; Jeremy Seekings
288 ページ
153 x 153 mm
WIDER Studies in Development Economics

The notion that social protection should be a key strategy for reducing poverty in developing countries has now been mainstreamed within international development policy and practice. Promoted as an integral dimension of the post-Washington Consensus all major international development agencies and bilateral donors now include a strong focus on social protection in their advocacy and programmatic interventions and a commitment to providing social protection was recently enshrined within the Sustainable Development Goals. The rhetoric around social protection, particularly when delivered in the form of cash transfers, has sometimes reached hyperbolic proportions with advocates seeing it as a magic bullet that can tackle multi-dimensional problems of poverty, vulnerability, and inequality and a southern-led success story that challenges the unequal power relations inherent within international aid. The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa challenges the common conception that this phenomenon has been entirely driven by international development agencies, instead focusing on the critical role of political dynamics within specific African countries. It details how the power and politics at multiple levels of governance shapes the extent to which political elites are committed to social protection, the form that this commitment takes, and the implications that this has for future welfare regimes and state-citizen relations in Africa. It reveals how international pressures only take hold when they become aligned with the incentives and ideas of ruling elites in particular contexts. It shows how elections, the politics of clientelism, political ideologies, and elite perceptions all play powerful roles in shaping when countries adopt social protection and at what levels, which groups receive benefits, and how programmes are delivered.


1 Sam Hickey, Tom Lavers, Miguel Nino-Zarazua, and Jeremy: The negotiated politics of social protection in East and Southern Africa
2 Jeremy Seekings: Building a conservative welfare state in Botswana
3 Tom Lavers: Distributional concerns, the 'developmental state', and the agrarian origins of social assistance in Ethiopia
4 Tom Lavers: Understanding elite commitment to social protection: Rwanda's Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme
5 Marianne S. Ulriksen: Pushing for policy innovation: the framing of social protection policies in Tanzania
6 Maria Granvik Saminathen: Policy diffusion, domestic politics, and social assistance in Lesotho, 1998-2012
7 Kate Pruce and Sam Hickey: The politics of promoting social cash transfers in Zambia
8 Badru Bukenya and Sam Hickey: The politics of promoting social protection in Uganda: a comparative analysis of social cash transfers and social health insurance
9 Sam Hamer and Jeremy Seekings: Social assistance, electoral competition, and political branding in Malawi
10 Sam Hickey and Jeremy Seekings: Who should get what, how, and why? DfID and the transnational politics of social cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa


Sam Hickey is Professor of Politics and Development in the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, and Research Director of the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre. His work on the politics of development has been published in African Affairs, Journal of Development Studies, and World Development. He has edited eight collections, most recently The Politics of Inclusive Development (OUP, 2015, with Kunal Sen and Badru Bukenya), The Politics of Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South (2019, Routledge, with Sohela Nazneen and Eleni Sifaki) and The Politics of Education in Developing Countries (OUP, 2019, with Naomi Hossain). ; Tom Lavers is a Lecturer in Politics and Development at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester and a researcher in Manchester's Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre. His research focuses on comparative political economy of development, in particular on the themes of land, agrarian transformation, and social policy. He has previously published in leading journals including African Affairs, Development and Change, Journal of Agrarian Change, and the Journal of Peasant Studies. ; Jeremy Seekings is Professor of Political Studies and Sociology and Director of the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town, and Visiting Professor in Political Science at Yale University. His most recent books include Inclusive Dualism: Labour-Intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa (Oxford University Press, 2019, co-authored with Nicoli Nattrass). His current research focuses on the politics of welfare reforms historically and in contemporary Africa, and on party politics and voting behaviour in Southern Africa. ; Miguel Nino-Zarazua is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) where he has led the research programme on fiscal policy and social protection in developing countries. He has published extensively in leading academic journals such as World Development, Journal of Development Studies, and Review of Income and Wealth, and edited six journal special issues, the most recent ones in Population and Development Review and The European Journal of Political Economy. His current research is in the microeconomics and political economy of welfare-benefit systems and antipoverty programmes in developing countries. He is Associate Editor and Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of International Development.