Inequality, Social Protection and Social Justice


Inequality, Social Protection and Social Justice

9781789905571 Edward Elgar Publishing
James Midgley, Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley, US
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78990 557 1 Extent: 200 pp
This thought-provoking book examines the role of social protection in reducing inequality and enhancing social justice. It assesses social protection’s impact on inequality in different parts of the world and shows that if carefully designed, adequately funded and effectively implemented, it can make a significant contribution to reducing income, gender and other forms of inequality. In this way, it can promote egalitarian ideals and enhance social justice.

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Inequality is back on the academic and political agenda. This book considers the extent and impact of social protection – including social assistance, social insurance, universal allowances and mandates – on inequality. The author illustrates how effectively designed and implemented forms of social protection can make significant contributions to reducing inequalities, promoting egalitarian ideals and achieving social justice.

Critical and incisive, this book is essential reading for students and academics studying social protection and inequality. It will also be of interest to scholars in social policy, international social welfare and development studies, as well as practitioners and professionals in government and international agencies.
Critical Acclaim
‘James Midgley provides a very helpful and insightful overview of the field of social protection.... A strength of this book is the wide scope that the author takes. Oftentimes books dealing with the social welfare state and safety net programs focus on either the OECD countries or the Global South. Midgley is adept at covering both. By doing so, the reader gains considerable insight into the differences and similarities across countries in attempting to protect their citizens from economic hardship and vulnerability.’
– Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

‘This text is central to understanding how social protection can promote equality by using the intervention of the state in designing egalitarian policies as well as by international organisations reflecting on their own impact on inequality. This book is aimed at academics, policymakers and professionals looking for viable strategies connecting power and resources of the state to promote social justice in western countries and the Global South.’
– Lorena Ossio Bustillos, European Journal of Social Security

‘This book, by a renowned scholar in the social policy field, is a welcome addition to the literature. It provides a thorough analysis of some key issues. The fact that so much of the social policy literature adopts a narrow national approach makes the global focus of this book quite a breath of fresh air. There is also a good balance of historical overview and contemporary analysis. I enjoyed reading this book and my hope that it will not only be of help to students of social policy, political theory, sociology and social work in appreciating the significance of inequality, social protection and social justice, but also be of value to campaigners, activists, policy developers and others in seeking to create and sustain a more determined effort to tackle inequality and the social ills it so fully contributes to.’
– Neil Thompson, International Journal of Social Welfare

‘The issue of inequality has returned to global agendas. James Midgley, the doyen of global social policy research, insists that social protection has a role to play in tackling inequality. He sets out an agenda of institutional reform that revitalizes the egalitarian claim of social protection, but stays away from simple cure-all solutions.’
– Lutz Leisering, Bielefeld University, Germany

‘This volume is an important and timely contribution to the scholarship and policy debates on inequality and the role of state supported social protection schemes in mitigating it. Midgely’s engaging and lucid text provides an integrated and comprehensive overview of real world programmes and evidence of their redistributive impact, while retaining historical and conceptual perspectives. In contrast to much of the literature in this area, the cases presented in this text come from both the global North and South and a more pluralistic account of social protection is provided which transcends traditional western notions of insurance, income transfers and credits. The text will be accessible and relevant for a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and an invaluable resource for all those interested in comparative social welfare.’
– Rebecca Surender, University of Oxford, UK

‘This book makes a critically important contribution to the literature on inequality and on social policy What the reader learns from this superb study is that careful policy design, adequate funding and effective implementation are needed to ensure that social policies are effective in promoting equality and social justice. This work is yet another confirmation that Professor Midgley is among the most distinguished social policy scholars of our time and that social policy has a role in the establishment of societies that are more just and equitable.’
– Silvia Borzutzky, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Contents: Preface Introduction Part I: Understanding and Addressing Inequality 1. Defining Inequality 2. The Dynamics of Inequality 3. Addressing Inequality Part II: Social Protection and Its Global Impact 4. Features of Social Protection 5. The Historical Evolution of Social Protection 6. Social Protection Goals and Impact Part III: Social Protection and Social Justice 7. Social Protection and Redistribution 8. Towards Egalitiarian Social Protection References Index
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