The Politics of Non-state Welfare

The Politics of Non-state Welfare

Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Cornell University Press
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  • Book Info
    The Politics of Non-state Welfare
    Book Description:

    Across the world, welfare states are under challenge (or were never developed extensively in the first place) while non-state actors increasingly provide public goods and basic welfare. In many parts of the Middle East and South Asia, sectarian organizations and political parties supply basic services to ordinary people more extensively and effectively than governments. In sub-Saharan Africa, families struggle to pay hospital fees, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) launch welfare programs as states cut subsidies and social programs. Likewise, in parts of Latin America, international and domestic NGOs and, increasingly, private firms are key suppliers of social welfare in both urban and rural communities. Even in the United States, where the welfare state is far more developed, secular NGOs and faith-based organizations are critical components of social safety nets. Despite official entitlements to public welfare, citizens in Russia face increasing out-of-pocket expenses as they are effectively compelled to seek social services through the private market.

    In The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare, a multidisciplinary group of contributors use survey data analysis, spatial analysis, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic and archival research to explore the fundamental transformation of the relationship between states and citizens. The book highlights the political consequences of the non-state provision of social welfare, including the ramifications for equitable and sustainable access to social services, accountability for citizens, and state capacity. The authors do not assume that non-state providers will surpass the performance of weak, inefficient, or sometimes corrupt states but instead offer a systematic analysis of a wide spectrum of non-state actors in a variety of contexts around the world, including sectarian political parties, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, family networks, informal brokers, and private firms.

    Contributors: Scott Allard, University of Chicago; Jennifer N. Brass, Indiana University; Melani Cammett, Brown University; Linda Cook, Brown University; Ian Gough, London School of Economics; Michael Jennings, School of Oriental and African Studies; Anirudh Krishna, Duke University; Pauline Jones Luong, University of Michigan; Lauren M. MacLean, Indiana University; Alejandra Mizala, University of Chile; Alison Post, University of California, Berkeley; Ben Ross Schneider, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-7034-9
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)
    Melani Cammett and Lauren M. MacLean

    Non-state actors supply basic social services to ordinary people even more extensively than states in many countries around the world. Non-state providers (NSPs) often have deep historical roots in their respective polities and, in some cases, predate the establishment of modern states by centuries. Although the role of non-state actors in social welfare provision is not new, their numbers, diversity, and importance have grown tremendously over the past several decades. In sub-Saharan Africa, individuals now appeal to both extended family members and friends to help pay hospital fees, and a rapidly increasing number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) launch welfare initiatives...

  5. 1 Mapping Social Welfare Regimes beyond the OECD
    (pp. 17-30)
    Ian Gough

    This chapter maps welfare regimes across countries that are not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Building on earlier work with Geof Wood and Miriam Abu Sharkh, I distinguish three types of welfare regime: “welfare states,” “informal security regimes,” and “insecurity regimes” (Abu Sharkh and Gough 2010; Gough et al. 2004). The chapter illustrates the wide and at times puzzling variation to be found among the middle-income group of informal security regimes that are the focus of this volume. At the same time, this exercise is hampered by a severe lack of comparable international quantitative data...

  6. 2 The Political Consequences of Non-state Social Welfare: An Analytical Framework
    (pp. 31-54)
    Melani Cammett and Lauren M. MacLean

    As Ian Gough details in the previous chapter, “informal insecurity” welfare regimes are the norm in many developing countries. Within this broad category, the state participates in the direct provision of social protection to varying degrees. As Gough acknowledges, non-state social welfare is a vital component of welfare regimes across the developing world, but it is virtually impossible to capture the nature and extent of NSPs in large-N, cross-national studies of welfare regimes. Comparable quantitative data on non-state welfare are scarce, particularly in the context of weak state capacity to collect information in many developing countries, and simplified measures cannot...

  7. Part I States, Non-state Social Welfare, and Citizens in the Developing World

    • 3 Empowering Local Communities and Enervating the State? Foreign Oil Companies as Public Goods Providers in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan
      (pp. 57-76)
      Pauline Jones Luong

      The image of foreign oil companies as having a decisively negative effect on the developmental prospects of mineral-rich countries, and hence the daily lives of their citizens, still dominates mainstream discourse on foreign investment in the petroleum industry (e.g., Asiedu 2006; Estrada, Tangen, and Bergesen 1997). And yet, since the 1990s foreign oil companies (FOCs) have had a much greaterpotentialto play both a more direct and positive role in improving social and economic conditions in petroleum-rich states by providing crucial public goods and social services. The expanded role of FOCs can be attributed directly to increasing pressures from...

    • 4 The Politics of “Contracting Out” to the Private Sector: Water and Sanitation in Argentina
      (pp. 77-98)
      Alison E. Post

      In the wake of the Washington Consensus, many governments throughout the developing world “contracted out” social welfare and health services to private firms. In doing so, they delegated responsibility for service provision, while retaining the power to award contracts and regulate compliance with contractual terms. In the explicit and formal nature of state delegation of responsibility to the private sector, this form of private sector provision differs dramatically from the other two types of private provision discussed in this volume, entrepreneurial efforts by individual firms to provide services in areas or sectors where the state provides services inadequately and corporate...

    • 5 Blurring the Boundaries: NGOs, the State, and Service Provision in Kenya
      (pp. 99-118)
      Jennifer N. Brass

      Over the past two decades, the number of not-for-profit nongovernmental organizations in the developing world has grown dramatically. Although estimates on the existing number of organizations vary widely, theEconomistreports the quadrupling of international NGO numbers between 1990 and 1996, and there are thought to be over one million organizations in India alone (McGann and Johnstone 2006). In Kenya, the government began registering NGOs in 1991, at which time there were four hundred operating in the country (National Council of NGOs of Kenya 2005).¹ By the start of 2012, that number had grown nearly twentyfold, to over seventy-five hundred.²...

    • 6 Bridging the Local and the Global: Faith-Based Organizations as Non-state Providers in Tanzania
      (pp. 119-136)
      Michael Jennings

      Since the gradual rolling back of the state from the 1980s non-state providers have come to play a particularly dominant role in service provision and broader developmental activity in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet it is a sector that remains poorly understood and, with the exception of one particular element of the broader NSP “type,” rather underresearched in the region. As a result, a number of its characteristics remain rather opaque: the emergence of this sector (as opposed to atomized, individual NSP actors); the nature of its relationship with governments, donors, and other national, regional and international organizations; the evolution and ongoing...

    • 7 Sectarian Politics and Social Welfare: Non-state Provision in Lebanon
      (pp. 137-156)
      Melani Cammett

      In an interview on the social programs of Hezbollah, Hajj Hussein Shami, the head of the organization’s credit association and the former director of its Islamic Health Unit, told me that his organization would gladly scale back its welfare operations if it were replaced by public programs in the areas it serves.¹ Whether Hezbollah would actually retrench its programs in the face of expanded public welfare functions is a matter of speculation, but his remarks point to the fact that the Lebanese state plays a minimal direct role in the provision of social services. The relative absence of a public...

    • 8 The Reciprocity of Family, Friends, and Neighbors in Rural Ghana and Côte dʹIvoire
      (pp. 157-174)
      Lauren M. MacLean

      Given the persistence of hard economic times for many Africans, and the weakness of most African states, it is perhaps unsurprising that non-state actors would play a critical role in the provision of social welfare on the continent. Where earlier in this book Michael Jennings and Jennifer Brass examined the role of faith-based and secular non-governmental organizations in East Africa, in this chapter, I focus on the nature of informal networks for social reciprocity in rural West Africa. In these villages of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, informal community-based organizations and networks of family and friends did not actually deliver social...

    • 9 The Naya Netas: Informal Mediators of Government Services in Rural North India
      (pp. 175-192)
      Anirudh Krishna

      A new group of political intermediaries has arisen in north India. By providing important services at the local level, they are better enabling ordinary citizens to gain access to the protections, opportunities, and benefits of the democratic state.

      Thesenaya netas(literally, new leaders) have taken on this role for the most part during the past thirty years. They help villagers gain voice and enforce accountability vis-à-vis government officials; they enable individuals to better obtain in practice the legal protections that are written in the laws; and they facilitate connections with service providers, often also helping hold corruption in check....

  8. Part II The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare in Emerging Markets and the Industrialized World

    • 10 Private Provision with Public Funding: The Challenges of Regulating Quasi Markets in Chilean Education
      (pp. 195-216)
      Alejandra Mizala and Ben Ross Schneider

      Chile is one of the few countries in the world, and the only developing country, with a national voucher system for funding primary and secondary education. The central government allocates funding to schools—private or public—based on the number of students enrolled. The military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, inspired by Milton Friedman and neoliberal Chicago economics, created the voucher system in 1981. Center-Left governments after 1990 consolidated it. Over the decades students have gradually but steadily migrated from public to private schools. By 2009, around half of Chilean students were in publicly funded but privately owned and managed schools....

    • 11 “Spontaneous Privatization” and Its Political Consequences in Russiaʹs Postcommunist Health Sector
      (pp. 217-236)
      Linda J. Cook

      In Russia, as in other postcommunist states, non-state welfare providers emerged during the 1990s after decades of virtually complete state monopolization of social provision. Those decades produced a distinctive constellation of welfare institutions and providers, political interests and societal expectations. By the end of the Communist period most of the population had been incorporated into a basic internally stratified system of public social provision that included health, education, social insurance, and social subsidies. Some 15 percent of the late-Soviet labor force worked in the public sector, mainly in health care and education. Welfare was administered by an extensive state bureaucracy...

    • 12 State Dollars, Non-state Provision: Local Nonprofit Welfare Provision in the United States
      (pp. 237-256)
      Scott W. Allard

      On first pass, it may seem an odd choice to include an American case in a volume focused primarily on non-state welfare provision in the developing world. Poverty is qualitatively different in the United States than in developing countries. Similarly, the American welfare state is more highly institutionalized and stable than others discussed in this volume. In fact, recent efforts to stimulate the economy, cope with high rates of unemployment, and the passage of health care reform legislation have led the American welfare state to commit billions in additional public spending to unemployment insurance, food assistance, housing assistance, and health...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 257-274)
    Melani Cammett and Lauren M. MacLean

    Throughout the developing world, public systems of social protection tend to be weak or nonexistent. Where state social programs do exist, they are often diluted by a lack of resources, low state capacity or clientelist practices that effectively limit or preclude access to social assistance for most individuals and families. As a result, citizens of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are forced to rely on a variety of non-state providers to meet their basic health, educational, and other social needs (Gough et al. 2004). Non-state providers range widely in terms of their level of formality,...

  10. References
    (pp. 275-308)
  11. Contributors
    (pp. 309-310)
  12. Index
    (pp. 311-316)