The paper examines the significance of politics in the rise of social assistance programmes in developing countries in the last decade. It finds this is a two-way process. Politics is crucial to the adoption, design and implementation of social assistance programmes. They also have a feedback effect on local and national politics. The paper develops a framework for distinguishing the different dimensions of influence. It applies this framework to study the development of social assistance in India, Brazil and South Africa. It employs a comparative perspective to identify key approaches, findings, and knowledge gaps in the politics of social assistance.
Barrientos, A.; Pellissery, S. Delivering effective social assistance: Does politics matter? Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID), University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (2012) 32 pp. ISBN 978-1-908749-02-4 [ESID Working Paper 09]