The Negotiated Politics of Social Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa

WIDER Working Paper 34/2018

34 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2018 Last revised: 29 Mar 2018

See all articles by Sam Hickey

Sam Hickey

University of Manchester

Tom Lavers

Global Development Institute

Miguel Niño‐Zarazúa

UNU-WIDER

Jeremy Seekings

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Date Written: March 7, 2018

Abstract

Social assistance programmes proliferated and expanded across much of the global South from the mid-1990s. Within Africa there has been enormous variation in this trend: some governments expanded coverage dramatically while others resisted this. The existing literature on social assistance, or social protection more broadly, offers little in explanation of this variation. Drawing on the literature on political settlements and democratic politics, we argue that variation results from the political contestation and negotiation between political elites, voters, bureaucrats, and transnational actors. The forms of politics that matter at each of these inter-related sites of negotiation include struggles over ideas as well as material interests, and reflect the ways in which social assistance is being used to advance certain political as well as developmental projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: social protection, social assistance, politics, sub-Saharan Africa, international development organizations

JEL Classification: H53, I38, N37, O55

Suggested Citation

Hickey, Sam and Lavers, Tom and Nino-Zarazua, Miguel and Seekings, Jeremy, The Negotiated Politics of Social Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa (March 7, 2018). WIDER Working Paper 34/2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3135701

Sam Hickey

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Tom Lavers

Global Development Institute ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Miguel Nino-Zarazua (Contact Author)

UNU-WIDER ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
Finland
+ 358 9 615 9911 (Phone)
+ 358 9 61599 333 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wider.unu.edu/aboutus/people/resident-researchers/en_GB/nino-zarazua-miguel/

Jeremy Seekings

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

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