Children and Global Social Policy: Exploring how International Governmental Organisations Influence Child Welfare Policy and Practice


  • Nick Axford Dartington Social Research Unit


children, child welfare, globalisation, international governmental organisations, global social policy


The influence of international governmental organisations (IGOs) on child welfare policy and practice in individual sovereign States is little explored. This article sets out the nature of these bodies' main work with children. It then considers the mechanisms through which they seek to influence national child welfare policy and practice and the extent to which they can make nation States comply. 'Soft' mechanisms include awareness raising, compiling statistical data series, cross-national research and demonstration projects, providing technical assistance, shaping the moral and political climate, external governance and macroeconomic policy. 'Hard' mechanisms include making law, financial intervention and monitoring implementation. The article concludes that child welfare policy and practice is increasingly subject to supranational influence, and argues that this has important implications for those seeking to understand and shape patterns and trends in this field.

Author Biography

Nick Axford, Dartington Social Research Unit

The Social Research Unit, Dartington, UK.