Development and Welfare Policy in South Asia
Edited by Gabriele Koehler, Deepta Chopra
Foreword by Naila Kabeer
Routledge – 2014 – 248 pages
This book sheds light on social policies in six South Asian countries introduced between 2003 and 2013, examining the ways in which these policies have come about, and what this reflects about the nature of the state in each of these countries. It offers a detailed analysis of the nature of these policies introduced in recent years in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and illustrates the similarities and differences in policy approaches amongst the six countries. Through this analysis, the book explores the thesis of whether there is a particular type of ‘developmental welfare state’ that can be observed across South Asia. The focus is on social policies or policies designed to address poverty and deliver welfare at the level of programming and design, i.e. the stated intent of these policies. The book also presents an analysis of the fiscal space available in each of the six countries, thereby drawing conclusions about the financial feasibility of a ‘developmental welfare state’ model in the region.
This comprehensive book uniquely explores critical aspects of policy debates on a possible move from welfare to ‘rights’. It introduces students and researchers in development studies, social policy and South Asian studies to innovative welfare programmes in South Asia and gives a new perspective on the nature and patterns of welfare in South Asia with the view of tackling inequality and promoting well-being.
"The book is filling a knowledge gap which is of pivotal interest for policy makers and analysts of welfare state policy and patterns of social and economic development. On the whole this is fascinating reading for all those who still believe in the welfares state and perhaps a source of second thought for those who do not." – Michael Cichon, President of the International Council on Social Welfare
"[T]his book offers a lucid, comprehensive and judicious account of the development and welfare activities in the South Asian region. It traces policies in the area of education, health, and social security. It features the intentions of policy makers, discerns the design and blueprints of welfare policies and tracks the process and politics of change. That combination of approaches makes it an essential read for the scholars and policymakers striving to understand development and welfare policy and their patterns in South Asia." – Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, Institute of South Asian Studies, NUS, Singapore
Preface, Naila Kabeer PART I 1. Introduction: Development and welfare policy in South Asia, Gabriele Koehler and Deepta Chopra 2. Some preliminary reflections on development, public policy, and welfare states, Gabriele Koehler 3. Approaching developmental welfare states: A "welfare geography" of South Asia, Gabriele Koehler 4. Fiscal space in South Asia: Evidence for the welfare state, Aniruddha Bonnerjee PART 2 5. Development, welfare, and governance: Explaining Bangladesh’s "development surprise", Wahiduddin Mahmud and Simeen Mahmud 6. The Indian case: Towards a rights-based welfare state?, Deepta Chopra 7. The Maldives: The shifting nature of a welfare state, Aniruddha Bonnerjee 8. Nepal: Social policy in a nascent welfare state, Yuba Raj Khatiwada and Gabriele Koehler 9. Political economy of reform: Social protection reform in Pakistan, Haris Gazdar 10. Sri Lanka’s experience of social development: Towards equity and justice, Laksiri Jayasuriya PART 3 11. Social sector spending in South Asia: A mixed bag, Aniruddha Bonnerjee 12. Welfare, development, rights in South Asia, Deepta Chopra, Outlook: The logic of Southasian evolution, Kanak Mani Dixit
Deepta Chopra is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, UK. She focuses on policy processes, and has extensive experience in managing, designing, and understanding social protection and livelihoods programmes. Her work has primarily been on examining policy processes through the formation of a landmark legislation, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), India. Her expertise on state-society interactions has allowed her to engage with issues of power and participation and examine efforts to address poverty and vulnerability from the unique perspective of policy. Her current research interests include a focus on gendered political economy analysis of policies on unpaid care work; the design, implementation, and monitoring of rights-based policies (specifically public works); and policy diffusion of social protection policies across South Asia.
Gabriele Koehler is a macroeconomist trained at the universities of Munich, Tübingen, Regensburg, and Ottawa. She worked in senior positions as a development economist with the United Nations at ESCAP, UNCTAD, UNDP, and UNICEF, and has been a visiting fellow with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team at the Institute of Development Studies, UK. She serves on several advisory boards in the field of international development, and is currently based in Munich as a policy advisor, researcher, and publicist. Her research interests include the development agenda beyond 2015; human rights; employment and decent work; social protection; industrial, trade, and investment policy; and social and economic policy in South and Southeast Asia.