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Social Development: The Developmental Perspective in Social Welfare
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Studying Development: Books and Reviews(1995) by James Midgley
This textbook offers a very accessible and comprehensive introduction to social development policy within a development context.

The author traces the conceptual underpinnings of institutionalised social policy, its Western origins and its diffusion during the colonial era as well as its evolution as part of development policy.

The later chapters address theoretical debates and provide examples of social development strategies at the macro, meso and micro-levels.

The concluding chapter provides a case for the importance of social development as part of development policy, and argues that an institutional perspective, often seen as inappropriate to developing countries, can be effective albeit in an adapted form that goes beyond simple policy transfer.

This is a very readable textbook and will be of interest to all students of development, and particularly those studying international social policy, offering a much-needed further articulation of a social development perspective in development policy.

Cover description:

The social development approach seeks to integrate economic and social policies within a dynamic development process in order to achieve social welfare objectives. This first comprehensive textbook on the subject demonstrates that social development offers critically significant insights for the developed as well as the developing world.

James Midgley describes the social development approach, traces its origins in developing countries, reviews theoretical issues in the field and analyzes different strategies in social development. By adding the developmental dimension, social development is shown to transcend the dichotomy between the residualist approach, which concentrates on targeting resources to the most needy, and the institutional approach which urges extensive state involvement in welfare. The final chapter offers an institution-based synthesis in which governments coordinate market, community and state sponsored development efforts to promote social welfare for all.

This incisive and accessible treatment if an important topic will be essential reading for all students in social policy, social work, development studies and public administration.

JAMES MIDGLEY is Professor os Social Work and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at Louisiana State University. He previously taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Cape Town. His many books include The Social Dimensions of Development (with MARGARET HARDIMAN, 1982, revised 1989), Social Security, Inequality and the Third World (1984), The Radical Right and Welfare State: An International Assessment (with HOWARD GLENNERSTER, 1991) and Profiles in International Social Work (with S.K. Khinduka and M.C. Hokenstad, 1993).

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