Rethinking the Welfare Regime Approach: The Case of Bangladesh

Peter R Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the potential value added by using a "welfare regime approach" to explore welfare provision in low-income countries. Although the study of welfare regimes has traditionally focused on the welfare states of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, it has recently extended its purview to include "emerging" welfare regimes in middle-and low-income countries, where the welfare state is considered to be absent. While conventional approaches use the welfare regimes of the "developed" world as a starting point, the approach proposed here attempts to take into account the particularities of low-income countries like Bangladesh. This is done without assuming that high- and middle-income countries can teach us all that there is to know about welfare systems. In the Bangladesh context, the notion of a welfare regime provides a useful, yet problematic, conceptual apparatus for exploring the relationship between a welfare mix and its particular welfare, stratification and political mobilization outcomes. The article draws attention to the limited focus of the conventional approach on the central state-market nexus, leading to a lack of emphasis on family, kinship, community, local government and "civil society" forms of welfare as well as those mediated by bilateral and global actors. It also draws attention to the wider range of relevant public welfare strategies that can be seen as functionally equivalent to social security in industrialized countries. The article ends by suggesting a research agenda combining an examination of the role of local, informal or customary strategies of managing welfare and insecurity on one hand and global or international strategies on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-107
Number of pages29
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs (I380)
  • Migration (O150)
  • Human Development
  • Government Programs
  • Welfare and Poverty
  • Economic Development
  • Human Resources
  • Income Distribution

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