3 Models of Social Policy


Social policy can be referred to both in the plural and singular case.. When referred to in the plural, it denotes comprehensive and integrated set of policies in the social sectors such as health, social welfare, education, social security etc., when used in singular the term social policy refers to a specific governmental policy such as the policy towards the SCs and STs, the policy for providing universal education etc. 

1-Residual Welfare Model of Social Policy

This formulation is closely related with laissez-faire position. With concomitttant social changes that have accompanied industrialization and urbanization, there emerged a grudging recognition that under rather exceptional circumstances, malfunctions of market or of the family, may necessitate some temporary supplement to social provisions. From the angle of policy, however, this approach perceives the family and the market as the only instruments for meeting human needs. There is emphasis on “means-testing” and less eligibility”. Selectivity is inherent in such a policy-frame and only the poor who qualify means test are selected for benefits.

2-Industrial Achievement- Performance Model of Social Policy  

This incorporates a significant role for social welfare institutions. It holds that social needs should be met on the basis of merit, work performance and productivity. It is derived from various economic and psychological theories concerned with incentives, efforts and reward and the formation of class and group loyalties.

3-: Institutional Redistributive Model of Social Policy

This envisages built-in institutional social provision to overcome the stresses of modern complex industrial-urban life. This model sees social welfare as a major integrated institution in society, providing Universalist services outside the market on the principle of need. It is basically a model incorporating systems of redistribution in command-over-resources-through-time.

Modern concept of social policy is inextricably bound with social justice. Mere equalization of opportunities in an inequalitarian socio-economic system reduces social justice just to absurdity. Thus in the modern concept of social policy, concepts of positive discrimination and eq 


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