New book from L. Leisering about "The Global Rise of Social Cash Transfers" published
Lutz Leisering (2019, publication 6 Dec 2018) The Global Rise of Social Cash Transfers. How States and International Organizations Constructed a New Instrument for Combating Poverty. Oxford: Oxford University Press (xxii+453 pp)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) proclaimed the equality of all human beings in dignity and rights. The right to social security, however, has been taken more seriously only since the 2000s, through calls for ‘Social Security for All’ by the International Labour Organization and ‘Leaving no-one behind’ in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The book investigates a major response, social cash transfers to the poor. The idea of simply giving money to the poor had been rejected by all major development organizations, but since the early 2000s, social cash transfers have mushroomed in the global South and on agendas of international organizations. How come? What programmes have emerged in which countries? How inclusive are the programmes? What models have international organizations devised? Based on unique quantitative and qualitative data and on newly created concepts and indicators, this is the first book that takes stock of all identifiable cash transfers in all Southern countries and of the views of all major international organizations.
The book argues that cash transfers reflect broader changes: new understandings of development, of human rights, of global risks, of the social responsibility of governments, and of universalism. The book also contributes to a general theory of social policy in development contexts, through a constructivist sociological approach that complements the dominant approaches from welfare economics and political economy.
The book summarizes and theorizes the results of the research project FLOOR-B, which was financed by the German Research Council (for more publications and backgrounds see www.floorcash.org).
The book seeks to advance research on social cash transfers:
- by going beyond case studies of flagship programmes to mapping all programmes in all countries of the South, based on a unique self-constructed data base and on new indicators
- by going from describing to theorizing and explaining cash transfers
- by going from administrative issues of finance, implementation, and effects to normative foundations
- by going from single cash transfer programmes to national cash transfer regimes (systemic approach)
- by complementing studies of domestic programmes by an analysis of concepts of international organizations since the 1990s
- by using both quantitative and qualitative methods
- by embedding social cash transfers in a general theory of social assistance and basic security in North and South
- by developing an institutionalist sociological theory of social policy that covers both the global North and South and focuses on processes of recognition, complementing approaches from political economy and development economics.