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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The creation of every social programme entails decisions about governance—about how these programmes are to be funded and administered. Policymakers have made varying choices about the territorial organization of social programme governance, as well as the mix of public and private actors involved in their financing, administration, and delivery. These decisions are highly consequential, shaping the relative power of different constituencies and governing bodies. Governance systems also reflect views about central versus local power, the role of religious and other groups in social provision, and the balance between markets versus states in providing for human welfare needs. This chapter examines social programme governance from a historical and a cross-national perspective to elucidate key patterns and trends. The first half of the chapter focuses on the public–private mix in welfare governance, while the second explores territorial governance, with a specific focus on federalism. One important theme in this chapter concerns the need to challenge assumptions that welfare states are monolithic, highly centralized, and state dominated. Instead, contemporary welfare regimes are mixed systems in which policy development and implementation often take place through non-state actors and/or at subnational levels of government.

Keywords: social policy, welfare state, social programmes, public–private mix, non-state actors, governance, territorial governance, federalism, centralization, decentralization

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