India’s emerging social policy paradigm : productive, protective or what?

Stefan KÜHNER, Keerty NAKRAY

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a cross-disciplinary review of state-of-the-art explorations of India’s emerging social policy paradigm during the two recent Centre/Left Congress/United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments (2004–2009, 2009–2014). In doing so, it revises existing classifications of social policy activity in India by tracing quantitative inputs and outcomes over time and assessing the extension of social rights via newly introduced social policy programmes. We find little evidence that India has moved beyond its failing informal welfare regime features characterized by a weakly developed mix of productive–protective welfare policy interventions, comparatively low social expenditure and mixed social outcomes. Furthermore, testing the transformative character of social policy innovations, we conclude that India’s approach to social protection has so far remained essentially residual, even minimalist, in character. Addressing the key developmental challenges India faces will therefore necessitate further reaching changes towards a more encompassing and inclusive social model that will in turn help to better generate productive assets among the Indian poor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging welfare expectations and social change : policy transfer in Asia
EditorsKa Ho MOK, Kuhner Stefan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781138564046
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameJournal of Asian Public Policy
ISSN (Print)1751-6234

Bibliographical note

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue in the Journal of Asian Public Policy.


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