Transnational Social Protection: Framing the Agenda
Social welfare has long been considered something which states provide to their citizens. Yet today, 220 million people live in a country in which they do not hold citizenship. Many are forced into permanent impermanence and others chose long-term residence without citizenship. How are people on the move protected and provided for in the contemporary global context? Have institutional sources of social welfare begun to cross borders to meet the needs of individuals who live transnational lives? How do these compare across sectors, such as health, elder care, education, and labor rights? Who are the new winners and losers in these emerging institutional arrangements? This introductory paper proposes a transnational social protection (TSP) research agenda designed to map the kinds of protections which exist for people on the move, determine how these protections travel across borders, and analyze variations in access. I define TSP; introduce the heuristic tool of a “resource environment” to map and analyze variations in TSP over time, through space, and across individuals; and provide empirical examples demonstrating the centrality of TSP for scholars of states, social welfare, development, and migration.