Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 38.3

A Universal Social Minimum: A Recipe for Social Justice or ‘Apple Pie in the Sky’?

Published on 1 May 2007

The notion of a ‘universal social minimum’ is a welcome and provocative intervention in the social protection debate. While the initial thinking on social protection focused on providing income- or
consumption-based ‘safety nets’ and economic risk management, the universal social minimum places equity and rights squarely at the centre of the social protection agenda.

This moves the approach decisively away from top-down approaches, based on ‘residual welfarism’ and towards bottom-up approaches, based on empowerment and agency. Those of us who were concerned about the relative neglect of the ‘social’ in ‘social protection’ can only
applaud a vision that starts with the social, and only incidentally concerns itself with the economics of risk and of social protection provision.

Related Content

IDS Bulletin 38.3

Cite this publication

Sabates?Wheeler, R. and Devereux, S. (2007) A Universal Social Minimum: A Recipe for Social Justice or ‘Apple Pie in the Sky’?. IDS Bulletin 38(3): 61-63

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Image of Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Research Fellow

Image of Stephen Devereux

Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 38, issue 3