chapter  26
12 Pages

The Collateralization of Social Policy by Financial Markets in the Global South1

WithLena Lavinas

This chapter addresses how the Global South, with its dearth of strong social policy institutions, has been drawn into the process, with a special focus on Brazil and South Africa. Taking Brazil and South Africa as examples, the chapter analyzes how various forms of cash transfers are used to expand consumer credit and other lines of credit. The flipside of the coin is that Brazil and South Africa display worrisome levels of household indebtedness and default rates. In South Africa, the post-apartheid period has been marked by institutional innovations on the score of social policy, with the introduction of countless cash transfer mechanisms such as the old age grant and child support grant, among other social assistance benefits. Rights are divorcing from genuinely emancipatory trajectories to service debt and boost the development of financial markets across the Global South.