While much has been written about national social policy (and welfare regimes) worldwide, and regionalist economic and security processes, the significance of regional integration as a site and driver of social politics and policy has been rather more neglected within sociological and political science literatures on welfare.
This paper is concerned with social policy in processes of region-building, empirically and theoretically. Empirically, it is concerned with 2 inter-related issues: the linkages between regional integration and social policy in practice; and the ability of regional institutions to mobilise collective action in defence of social rights. It is
also concerned with the bases and tenets of a revitalised theoretical understanding of the relationship between regionalisation processes and social policy. These arguments are developed through a focus on the example of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and its involvement in the sphere of health. Its institutional development and policy practices are set in wider international context.
This work is part of the ‘Poverty reduction and regional integration: a comparative analysis of SADC and UNASUR health policies’ project supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development.
Nicola Yeates and Pia Riggirozzi (2017) Global social regionalism: the case of the Union of South American Nations’ health policy. PRARI Working Paper 15-10, August 2017. Milton Keynes: The Open University