Aglobal social policy can be viewed as a system that seeks to addressthe various social issues and needs that people face across theworld. A global social policy seeks to bring a balance amongst thepeople across the entire world. The aspect of social justice is thedriving force behind the global social policy (Barraclough, 1982).The powerful nations across the world demand that the developingnations to enhance justice for all the people through providingessential social needs. There is a need to bring equality and justiceto all the people across the world. In order for justice to berealized across the world, it is essential for the variousgovernments to provide the needy with the social needs such as healthservices, food, education and shelter. The global social policy,using bodies such as the UN and the World Bank, started by addressingthe issue of poverty in the developing nations a few decades ago(Dudoit& Fridly, 2002).However, it was soon realized that addressing poverty alone would notbring about social justice. There were other emerging social issuessuch as HIV, racism, as well as gay and lesbian rights. As aconsequence, the global social policy developed in terms of the scopeof the social issues it addresses. Additionally, the global socialpolicy has developed in terms of the areas that it covers. It is nowevident that there are worldwide campaigns for gay and lesbianrights, racism rights and affirmative action campaigns.
Asocial policy is a public policy that has been designed to addressthe social issues that affect the people. There are various socialissues such as education, food, healthcare, money, housing andemployment (Sharkh, 2006). Social policies are aimed at addressingthese issues. Governments such as the United States government setsaside funds in its budget to dish out to people who are considered asbeing in need. Although the aspect social policy or what is generallyknown as welfare policy was started targeting the poor, it is evidentthat this has changed drastically and today the policies servevarious people including the old and immigrants. The social policy isintended to improve the living conditions of the people (Barraclough,1982). In other words, it is a way of responding to the needs of thepeople in the society to enable them live a standard life. Globalsocial policy has developed and changed to great extent over theyears. Issues such as gay rights, abortion, euthanasia, gun controland racism have all been included in the realm of the various socialproblems that the governments of the day have to deal with(Barraclough, 1982).
Thesocial policy has now changed including the stakeholders. Today, thechurch, human rights groups and politicians are part of the socialpolicy. The issue of social policy has become complex due to thenumerous social issues that are being addressed by the variousgovernments. Issues such as health insurance have become increasinglycommon both in the US and in other countries such as the UK (Sharkh,2006). This essay will address how global social policy has changedover the decades and to what extent the global social policy haschanged. One thing which has remained constant even when the socialpolicy has been changing is that the ultimate goal is the welfare ofthe people (Andersen,1990).The policy seeks to improve the standards of life of the people insociety who are in need. is an aspect that seeksto address the social needs affecting the society at a continentallevel. The wealthy countries which are considered as welfare statessuch as the United States and the United Kingdom send aid todeveloping countries in Africa to deal with issues such as health andeducation for the masses. Other bodies such as the ILO,WHO, UNESCO, UNDP and UNHCRdevelop and propose measures through which the poor people across theworld can be helped (Barraclough, 1982).
TheEuropean Union has been in the frontline in the fight for the welfareof the people. In as early as 1957, the European Union had socialpolicies which aimed at protecting the welfare of the workers. Issuessuch as gender disparity were already forming heated debates. It waswithin the social policies at that time that women should not bediscriminated at the workplace. Employers were required to treat andcompensate women as they did to men. The social policy of that timewas mainly related to the labor sector (WorldBank, 2005).The government and the member states to the European Union wantedtheir employees to be protected from the invasions of foreignemployees (Dudoit& Fridly, 2002).It is, however, evident that once these member states had securedemployment for their people. It would be easy for the people to meettheir needs such as food health, as well as education. The memberstates to the European Union wanted to ensure that their people wereemployed and only a small percentage remained unemployed. This can beattributed to the fact that issues of poverty are as old as time.Citizens of the European Union faced poverty and they relied on theirgovernment for provision. The European Union is termed as the motherof the current welfare states (Sachs,2008).
Othercountries such the United States, Canada and China have also adoptedthe aspect of social policy. Countries have been providing theircitizens who are in need with basic social needs such as educationand food. For instance, after World War II, countries that wereinvolve had the responsibility of providing their people with basicneeds (Gough& Wood, 2004).The effects of the war were detrimental and the destruction left manyfamilies without food, health services or education. The role of thegovernment has been to provide for the citizenry for decades. Thegovernment has the role of ensuring that the people have sufficientfood, have shelter, have access to education and health services, aswell as people are enjoying their rights. During the 1980s, variousgovernments including the European Union member country governments,social policy focused mainly on the issue of poverty (Rudra,2007).It was believed by eliminating poverty, the government would havedone its part in ensuring people had a comfortable and fulfillinglife. This was the same case with social policy at a global level.Bodies such as the world Trade Organization and the United Nationsonly focused on alleviating poverty in some of the poorest countriesacross the world. Wealthy countries such as the United States and theUnited Kingdom gave funds to poor African countries for the purposesof fighting poverty (Dudoit& Fridly, 2002).
However,this trend of focusing on poverty alone as the only social need hasbeen changing. The global social policy now has started focusing onvarious other issues such as health and education. The transfer ofthe world Aid to poor countries is meant to fight diseases such asHIV, malaria and Tuberculosis. This is besides alleviating poverty.The also seeks to provide food to the hungryacross the world. This is an indication that the global social policyhas changed in its scope (Gasper,2004).It is evident that the social problems keep increasing in number.Initial social policies were aimed at addressing a few issues butincrease in population and the dwindling resources across the worldhas made social problems to increase significantly. The scope of theissues that the global social policy seeks to address is big (Rudra,2007).
Itis also evident from research that the global social policy nowtargets wider areas than it used to target two decades ago. This hasraised the issue of redistributing the scarce resources across theneediest countries across the world (Stiglitz,2002).It is useful to note that every country is entitled to the funds, butthere are some countries, according to World Bank categorization,that in dire need of support to fight hunger, poverty, disease andilliteracy. Bodies such as the UN and the USAid are now required todevelop criterion that should be used in the redistribution ofresources. Initially, there were only a few countries that neededfunds (UNESCO,2007).This has since then changed. There are numerous countries especiallyacross Africa, which are dire need of aid to fight diseases such asHIV and Malaria. can be seen to have expanded interms of the areas that it covers (Sapir,2004).It is evident that now there is immense competition for the littleresources that are available. In other words, there are numerouspeople across the world that are in need of help today than therewere two decades ago (Therborn,2004).There is need to carry out serious assessment on the ground to findout the needs of the people. The issue of redistribution has becomemore serious than ever before (Norberg,2003).It is paramount for institutions such as the UN to ensure that theaid given to various countries reaches the poor and the needy in thesociety.
Thegovernance and the management of the global social policy is anotherarea that has changed dramatically over the decades. There has beenan upsurge in the number of stakeholders in the global social policy.Every stakeholder wants a policy that is in line with its principlesand modes of operations (Wolfsonet al., 2004).The United States is in the frontline to establish global socialpolicies that are in line with its mode of operation. The UnitedNations, World Bank and the World Trade Organization on the otherhand have their own ways through which they would want the globalsocial policies to be implemented. It is evident from research thatthe G8 believes that it should set social policies at the globallevel. On the other hand, G20, which is a new group of countriesbelieve that it has the mandate to set the global social policies.This is the same case with the World Bank and the world tradeorganization, as well as the various United Nations bodies (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).This has created a problem that surrounds the governance of theglobal social policy. It is clear that the above bodies are allstakeholders in one way or the other. Most or all of the G8 and G20countries are providers of funds for aid in the developing countries(UNESCO,2007). did not have much hype and many stakeholders inthe past two decades. However, due to the growing social needs, theabove and other stakeholders have joined hands in trying to help thepoor people in the developing countries. Local governments are alsopart of the stakeholders who are enjoined in the development of theglobal social policy (Wood& Gough, 2006).The local countries feel that they need to be involved since it istheir citizens who are involved. It is abundantly clear that is thisaspect, the global social policy as changed dramatically. The policyhas to be developed in consultation with all the stakeholders(Leibfried,2008).The policy must incorporate the interests of all the stakeholders.More often than not, these conflicts and arguments over the globalsocial policy delays the implementation and redistribution of aid tothe needy people in the developing countries.
Theglobal social policy has changed drastically in terms of humanrights. This is one area has been incorporated into the area ofglobal social policy. During the 1980s and the 1990s when the worldbodies such as the UN were started to redistribute aid to developingcountries for helping the poor with food and education as well ashealth, issues on human rights were not prominent (Leibfried,2008).However, in today’s global social policy, the issue of human rightsmust be factored in. It is evident that the rights of the minoritygroups such as the women, children, disabled and gays and lesbiansmust be factored in. When aid is being distributed, human rights areat the forefront. It is essential to ensure that he aid that isdistributed reaches the people that it was intended for. It is nowconsidered as a human right for every person across the world to haveaccess to food, shelter, education and health. The global socialpolicy when seeking to provide social needs to the people must ensurethat the needs are distributed equally amongst all the people inneed. This again can be associated with the increase in the demandfor the aid. People who benefit from the aid cannot be discriminatedagainst on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender (Wolfsonet al., 2004).The issue of racism also features in today’s global social policy.People must be treated equally regardless of their race or country oforigin. The issue of racism has been rampant especially in the UnitedStates. Races other than white have been regarded as being inferior. seeks to address this issue and to ensure thatpeople of different race benefit from the aid (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).
Thereare numerous humanitarian issues that crop up every now and then dueto conflicts across the world and other natural disasters such asearthquakes. The global social policy has been designed andredesigned to cater for the welfare of the people who are affected bythese wars and natural disasters. The global social policy must setaside funds for emergency when such humanitarian issues arise (Rees,2010).For instance, the earthquake in Nepal left the locals in dire need ofbasic needs such as food and shelter. It is the role of theinternational community through the global social policy to provideaid and support to such victims. Other humanitarian problems are as aresult of war in some countries such as South Sudan and Syria. Theinternational community is obliged to provide humanitarian support tothe victims. The victims in these areas have their human rights andthey deserve to live well like the rest of the people. Again, it isuseful to mention that the issue of humanitarian crisis is somethingthat the global social policy has been looking into for over a decade(Rees,2010).This is especially due to the inception of the numerous terroristattacks where victims are left helpless and others even disabled.
Theaspects of globalization, climate change and technology advancementsare all but aspects that trigger changes in the global social policy(Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).These are aspects that affect humans either positively or negatively.As such, it is evident that these aspects require responses at aglobal perspective. These are challenges that are prevalent in theentire world. Climate change has brought along numerous challenges.Food production has gone down in many countries and the populace aregoing hungry. The global social policy must indeed address thechallenges that are associated with climate change (Klein,2010).Globalization and economic crisis must also be addressed by theglobal social policy. The aim of the global social policy is toensure that there is social justice across the world for everyperson. This form of justice can only be achieved if the people areprovided with their social needs. A global social policy dependslargely on the universality of the social values of the differentstates across the world. This poses a huge challenge to theimplementers of the global social policy. It is evident that thereare communities in some countries that do not value education(Rodrigues,2006).This makes it extremely difficult for the global social policy toachieve a just world for all the people.
Anotherissue that has affected and changed the global social policy is theaspect of migration. Today, there are millions of people migratingfrom poor African and Asian countries into the United States and intothe European Union. There has been heated debates over whether themigrants should be granted social welfare grants like the localcitizens of the particular countries (PolicyNetwork, 2006).The global social policy would demand that such immigrants be giventhe social welfare cover since it is their right to live acomfortable life. There are some countries such as the European Unionmember states which argue that the immigrants should not be given thesocial welfare benefits since one of the conditions they must fulfilbefore migrating is that they must be financially stable. Thesemember states have even restricted intra-member migrants frombenefiting from the social welfare funds. This has sparked a debateover whether immigrants should be awarded the benefits if they are inneed. It is evident that the immigrants have a right to their socialneeds irrespective of their location (Rodrigues,2006).However, it seems that the social policies are not considering thecountry of origin as a deterrent to accessing the social benefitfunds (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).It is argued that the immigrants would affect the distribution of thefunds to the locals who would otherwise receive reduced support fromtheir government (Sapir,2005).The global social policy would wish for the immigrants to get supportfor their social needs such as education, health and shelter. This isan issue that has gained momentum in the 20thcentury. There has been an upsurge of the people immigrating into thewelfare states looking for economic opportunities (PolicyNetwork, 2006).The global social policy must address the issue of the immigrants andhow they can be assisted to acquire their social needs. It is theright of every person across the world regardless of their country oforigin to live a meaningful life.
Theaspect of women equality has been considered as a social issue inrecent times. It has become apparent that women are discriminatedupon especially in the developing countries. Women are not accordedequal opportunities as men in the leadership and work positions(Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).This has triggered a debate over the rights of women to equality.Social policies across the world including in the European Union andthe United States are seeking to address this issue through theaffirmative action policies (Cox,2009).It is argued that people should not be discriminated upon on thebasis of their gender. The issue has attracted a global attention andthe social policy at a global level is seeking to address the issue.Countries that offer aid are now demanding that the countriesreceiving aid should have certain threshold for women empowermentbefore receiving the aid. Women must be given opportunities inleadership and must have at least a third representation in theworkforce. The issue of human rights has been extremely vital in theglobal social policy. The right of every person is being addressed.Affirmative action is being enforced in many developing countriesthat are receiving aid from the rich countries. The global socialpolicy has indeed changed drastically over the decades in terms ofthe scope of the issues it addresses (Cox,2009).
Whenthe issue of social policy or social welfare started, it was mainlyconcentrated in the developed countries in Europe and in America.These countries believed that in order to have solidarity and unityamongst the people, there needed to be social justice. Social justicecould not be achieved through any other means apart from ensuringthat the social needs of all the people are met (Eurostat,2007).Initially, social policies targeted the poor people only and soughtto provide food, shelter and education to them. It came to therealization of the bodies such as the UN that problems affectingpeople in Europe and America, were also affecting other people acrossthe world. The United Nations through its subsidiary bodies such asthe UNESCO and UNHCR is providing support to millions of peopleacross the world (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).Poor people are being supported across the world. The various bodiessuch as the UN, WTO and World Bank started addressing the issue ofpoverty across the various poor states in the world. However, itincreasingly became apparent that this was not sufficient to bringabout social justice across the world (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).
Therewere new developments which targeted the poor nations and which wereaimed at bringing about social justice across the world. Issues ofeducation, human rights, health, racism, gay and lesbian rights wereall issues being addressed by the global social policy. The globalsocial policy has indeed expanded and grown over the decades. Issuesof climate change and humanitarian incidents are all considered asaspects of global social policy. There has been numerous players orstakeholders into the global social policy. Rich countries belongingto the G8 and the G20 are claiming to be the controllers of thepolicy. Issues such the advent of the HIV epidemic in Africa has beena huge challenge to the global social policy. The policy had to beadjusted to address the issue of HIV in Africa (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).Aid in terms of medicines for the sick was a global issue which wasfunded using millions of dollars. It is clear that the global socialpolicy, which has been seen to be a policy that addresses socialneeds has developed over the years both in terms of the issues itsaddressing, the stakeholders and the regions that it is coveringacross the world.
Inconclusion, it is abundantly clear from the discussion that theglobal social policy has indeed developed to a great extent over thedecades. Whereas the global social policy started as a system ofaddressing poverty in some of the world’s poorest nations, it isevident from research that the system has now developed to the levelof addressing issues such as racism and human rights (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).There has been an increase in the number of issues that fall underthe category of social needs. Racism, gay and lesbian rights,children rights and the rights of the disabled people have all beenincorporated into the social needs of the people. The global socialpolicy has therefore been forced to address these problems in thesociety in order to bring about social justice. A deeper look at theglobal social policy over the decades will indicate that it haschanged from addressing poverty to addressing matters associated withthe rights of every person (Favell,& Guiraudon, 2011).Championing for the rights of every person regardless of their race,sexual orientation or physical disability has been the main goal ofglobal social policy. It is assumed that when the rights of everyperson are respected, it is easier to have a unified world and havesocial justice for everybody.
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