The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa

18 Nov 2019 - 12:15

The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa has been published (by Oxford University Press). The book – edited by Sam Hickey and Tom Lavers (University of Manchester), Miguel Niño-Zarazúa (UNU-WIDER) and Jeremy Seekings (University of Cape Town) - represents a collaboration between the three institutions, presenting research conducted through the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) programme at Manchester and the Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms (LIWPR) programme at Cape Town, with assistance from UNU-WIDER. Under an agreement that UNU-WIDER has with OUP, the book is on full (free) Open Access, through the UNU-WIDER hyperlink (click on the Access Book tab on the left).

Four of the eight case-studies were researched as part of the LIWPR programme at UCT: Jeremy on Botswana, Marianne Ulriksen on Tanzania, Maria Granvik Saminathan on Lesotho and Sam Hamer and Jeremy on Malawi. Jeremy also coauthored a chapter on the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) and the introduction .

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.

Sam Hickey talks about what makes the book different on the ESID site, here: