The domain of the welfare state has greatly expanded to encompass a large number of developing countries. Social policy in the nascent welfare states has remained a little explored and an even less understood subject. This handy volume makes a valuable contribution to the literature on comparative social policy with 16 country case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America with five contextual chapters. As these contributions reveal, there is no single model that can be presented as a universal one, with temporal and spatial variations being the norm rather than the exception. These national variants are emerging within distinct socio-historical contexts and with developmental priorities that distinguish social policies in the South from their affluent counterparts in the North. The book also engages in a stimulating debate on the on-going reforms in several countries and assesses the future of the welfare state in the globalising era. The book makes a powerful case for the continued relevance of the welfare state especially its redistributive functions.