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The Welfare State Within the Context of Liberal Globalisation in Africa: Is the Concept Still Relevant in Social Policy Alternatives for Africa?

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Abstract:

Africans are struggling to reclaim their rights to wealth, liberty, and democracy as mechanisms of articulating social progress. Is the concept of the welfare state still relevant within the existing dominant paradigms of liberal globalisation? In this study, using a historical-structuralist framework, I examine the nature of the arguments about the welfare state. I categorize three types of regimes, namely, social welfare state, liberal welfare state, and transitional democracy and I compare their performances in selected sectors. My main objective is to search for correlative explanations between the ideological foundation of each regime and its social program policy. Based on the data used, it was demonstrated that global liberal democratisation has not yet created any conditions for greater social development and equity in Africa. In all sectors, transitional democracies have performed poorly as compared to other democracies. Liberal democracies have performed lower than social democracies. And social democracies have been systematically ranked higher in the selected social indices. It was concluded that the concept of welfare is still relevant, and thus should provide the epistemological and social basis for rethinking African democracies.

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