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Colonialism and Social Policy in the Global South

17 January 2019

Amanda Shriwise gave a talk on "Colonialism and Social Policy in the Global South" at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford.


Classical accounts emphasize domestic structures and actors when explaining the emergence of social policy in today’s advanced economies. External actors play a less central role. As a consequence, classical accounts are limited in their ability to explain social policy development in cases where external actors have been pivotal from the very outset. Considering that most of today’s nation states, especially in the Global South, have been subordinated to others at some point, this is not a minor limitation. I will address colonialism as a particular kind of transnational governance in order to better understand social policy-making in countries beyond the OECD. Using French and British former colonies as an example, I propose an actor-centric approach to social policy development in the presence of powerful external actors. This approach can be amended to suit different research questions and it allows to capture the actor dynamics before and after independence.

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