This article examines the extent to which Gough and Woodʼs (2004) classification of most sub-Saharan African nations as insecurity regimes is still relevant by analysing public responses and attitudes towards general and specific (healthcare) welfare policies in Ghana, using a mixed-method design. Ghana presents a fascinating case study not only due to the changing socio-economic landscape but also because of the prevailing socio-political stability. The research findings demonstrate that most participants wanted more welfare spending (including on healthcare) but remained reluctant to rely on government provisions due to distrust and perceived inefficiencies in the public sector. The findings also depict the continuing reliance on family and social networks as safety nets and sometimes in preference to state arrangements. The article argues that Ghanaʼs welfare regime may be gradually shifting from the classic insecurity regime (albeit still relevant) to one resembling the less effective informal security regime – at least from the publicʼs experiences – and demands a careful integration of individual, familial, and community networks in current and future formal welfare arrangements.
Bibliographical noteThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (RPN 006/CSIR-IRB/2018), and Lingnan University Research Ethics Committee (EC-052/1718) approved the research protocol.
The author acknowledges funding support from Lingnan University, Hong Kong, through the Research Seed Fund (Fund code: 102338).
- Welfare attitudes
- social networks
- welfare regime