Social protection policies increasingly exist in crisis-affected settings. Their implementation is mediated by politics, resource constraints, and the attitudes and beliefs of those responsible for shaping policy. However, prevailing perspectives on the politics of social protection (incorporating social assistance) are largely limited to settings that are not characterised by protracted crises and conflict.
This brief summarises the state of what is known and what gaps there are in the evidence regarding how politics shape social assistance policy and implementation. It informs a future research agenda for assessing the dynamics and processes affecting how social assistance is allocated and to whom, including the roles and relationships between global, national, and sub-national actors that influence patterns of allocation.