Transnational Social Policy: Social Welfare in a World on the Move, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transnational Social Policy

Social Welfare in a World on the Move, 1st Edition

Edited by Luann Good Gingrich, Stefan Köngeter


294 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Transnational Social Policy highlights the changing face of social policy and social work against the background of accelerating transnationalization of economies, labour markets, education, social services, and care. The contributions of this book provide unique case examples on the interplay of social policies, mobile populations, and travelling knowledge about welfare within an increasingly asymmetrical global context. This innovative volume also includes historical studies on the transformations of social policies during the last century and reflects the developments of social welfare across the Global North and the Global South. With its emphasis on theoretical assumptions of policy translation, the case studies show the importance of adjustments, negotiations, and participation of various actors in the transnational social field of welfare production. Thus, within ever-shifting contexts of new political agendas promoting the free play of the market and a neoliberal agenda of competition and austerity, this insightful book reveals new transnational forms of social exclusion that function within, across, and in-between nation-states.

Presenting a major and much needed addition to current discussions on globalization and the increasing complexity of worldwide social relations, this volume will be of interest to scholars and graduate students interested in fields such as Social Policy, Social Work, Public Administration, Development Studies, Political Science, and Sociology, as well as many interdisciplinary fields including Global Studies, International Development Studies, and Immigration and Settlement Studies.


This collection of rich, diverse, case studies addresses the complex relationship between social policies, mobile populations and knowledge production in transnational spaces. It underscores the importance of a translation lens for the understanding of these processes theoretically, politically and ethically. It is an important addition to the literature on global and transnational social welfare, of great interest to social policy and social work scholars, researchers, and students.

Paul Stubbs, Senior Research Fellow, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.

This volume brings together a set of timely chapters covering developments in numerous countries that will be a welcome addition to social policy literature. It speaks forcefully to the ways in which social policy is being radically transformed in the context of globalization and neoliberalism. The examination of largely neglected immigrant/migrant populations in the volume is a particularly valuable and insightful contribution to social policy scholarship.

John Shields, Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson, Canada.

In this path-breaking volume, Good Gingrich and Köngeter assemble a wide-ranging array of rich case studies to argue for a transnational perspective on social policy and social work. They claim convincingly that we can no longer ignore the impact of the transnational movements of people, ideas and resources on economies and welfare systems and on the dynamics of social exclusion and inclusion across the world. This is an essential eye-opener for anyone seeking to understand contemporary social policy and social work.

Prof. John Gal, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

This book contributes important new insights into the consequences of globalization and transnationalism for both social policy and social work. The book could not be more timely in light of dramatic social, political and economic changes resulting from massively increased mobility among large portions of the human population. The individual authors shine valuable light on the translation into practice of social work ideas, on transnational forms of social exclusion, and on challenges for social work and social policy in a complex world. This excellent compilation of contributions is drawn together by the editors into a unified, powerful package that directly confronts one of the major challenges for social welfare in the 21st century.

Ernie Lightman

This is an important and timely book. Going beyond national and comparative studies, it adopts a transnational approach to social policy and welfare services that helps to explain social work dynamics in the context of neoliberal globalization, privatization of public services and transnationalization of everyday life. Köngeter and Good Gingrich must be congratulated for assembling such an impressive array of leading experts on welfare policies. The volume brings to the forefront issues of social exclusion but also the potential to nurture solidarity, address social injustice, enhance social protection and promote the wellbeing of humans across national boundaries.

Daniel Schugurensky, Arizona State University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Transnational Social Policy and Social Work: An Introduction

Stefan Köngeter and Luann Good Gingrich

I. Sharing Knowledge: Setting the Policy Agenda

2. Surveilling and Surveying Slums: The Transnational Translation of the City as a Social Problem

Stefan Köngeter

3. 'Good' Child Labour, 'Bad' Child Labour: Translating Global Policy in the Post-Soviet Context

Sofiya An and Adrienne Chambon

4. Child Protection: Policy Translations

Daniel Kikulwe and Karen Swift

II. Beyond Transfer: Translating Policies and Shaping Welfare

5. Translocal Policy as Process: Bricolage and the ‘Messy' World of Local Policymaking

Dean Herd and Daniel Cohen

6. The Traveling Idea of 'Clubhouse' from the West to the East

Frank T. Y. Wang and Yu-Hui Lu

7. From 'Benefit Ladies' to 'Professionals': Polish Social Workers in the Context of Neoliberal Reform of Social Policy

Gwen E. McEvoy

8. Humanitarian Assistance, Refugee Management, and Self-Reliance Schemes: Nakivale Refugee Settlement

Suzan Ilcan, Marcia Oliver, and Laura Connoy

III. Lost in Translation: The Social Repercussions of Transnational Policy, and the Reinforcement of Global Inequality

9. Transnationalism and Secondary Schooling Policy in Ontario, Canada: Globalization, Privatization, and Competing Priorities

Naomi Lightman

10. Tactical Borderwork: Central American Migrant Women Negotiating the Southern Border of Mexico

Julie E. E. Young, Luann Good Gingrich, Adrienne Wiebe, and Miriam Harder

11. National Old-Age Care Regimes and the Emergence of Transnational Long-Term Care Arrangements for the Elderly

Anita Böcker, Vincent Horn, and Cornelia Schweppe

12. Transnational Social Responsibility: The Case of the Swedish Retirement Pension, 1913–2013

Erica Righard

IV. Conclusion

13. Social Exclusion and Social Welfare: Within, Across and In-Between Nation-State Boundaries

Luann Good Gingrich and Stefan Köngeter

About the Editors

Luann Good Gingrich is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and a Scholar in Residence at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Stefan Köngeter is Professor for Social Pedagogy at the Department of Education, University of Trier, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Services
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General