Theorising global social policy

Yeates, Nicola and Holden, Chris (2022). Theorising global social policy. In: Yeates, Nicola and Holden, Chris eds. Understanding Global Social Policy (3rd Edition). Understanding welfare: social issues, policy and practice. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 89–110.



Global social policy demands new theories to account for its development and the different forms it takes. This chapter reviews different ways of theorising global social policy. It distinguishes between social theories concerned with the impacts of global
social policies on welfare outcomes and social theories concerned with why global social policy takes the forms that it does. We focus on the latter. First, we consider the possibility of globalising theories of national welfare state development. Second, we consider the opportunities to ‘welfarise’ globalist social theories that were not originally devised with the concerns of global social policy in mind. The chapter argues that a single social theory of global social policy is neither desirable nor possible, but that better integration of social theory into global social policy studies is attainable. It concludes
by briefly considering possible future lines of direction for thinking theoretically about global social policy.

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