Joachim Betz

India's Social Policies: Recent Changes for the Better and Their Causes

GIGA Working Paper, No. 314, January 2019

Abstract
Despite being a consolidated democracy with free and fair elections and having a political system with intense party competition, a relatively vibrant civil society, and a functioning federal set-up, India still ranks poorly in terms of the coverage, generosity, efficiency, and quality of its social protection. This is difficult to explain based on the factors usually advanced for the implementation of generous social policies. A second puzzle is the predominantly protective nature of welfare policies in India in the current era of globalisation, which should necessitate policies enabling workers to participate successfully in a more demanding economic environment. These puzzles may be explained partly by (a) the long-term insulation of the Indian economy from international competition, (b) the low share of industry and modern services in GDP until recently, (c) the precedence of identity policies, (d) the fragmentation of the political sphere, and (e) the meagre empowerment of women in India. We should, however, acknowledge that change is underway and that the picture is not bleak across India as a whole – being supported by economic reforms and growth, a greater degree of decentralisation and party competition within the country, increasingly discerning voters, and progress on female education and employment opportunities.

GIGA-Forschung zum Thema

Related Research Tabs

GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Joachim Betz ist ein Associate am GIGA Institut für Asien-Studien. Seine fachlichen Schwerpunkte sind unter anderem Politik und Wirtschaft Südasiens, Klimapolitik, Entwicklungsfinanzierung und Good Governance.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Daniel Neff / Joachim Betz

Geschlechtergerechtigkeit als internationale Aufgabe: Indien in der G20

GIGA Focus Asien, 03/2017

Joachim Betz / Daniel Neff

Social Policy Diffusion in South Asia

Journal of Asian Public Policy, 10, 2017, 1, 25-39

Joachim Betz

(Keine) Wege aus dem Energie- und Klimadilemma

Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 66, 2016, 12-13, 25-31

Joachim Betz / Sören Scholvin

Fossile Energie bleibt dominant in Asien

GIGA Focus Asien, 04/2016