What is the role of the state in economic and social development? This long-standing debate in political economy implies an assessment of the desirability and feasibility of the state intervening to influence economic and social outcomes. The assessment can be made at two levels: first, as a matter of principles and values (i.e. what sort of, if any, state intervention is good?) and second, as a pragmatic policy issue (i.e. how much, if anything, can the state and society afford to spend to achieve its objectives?). Another question related to this debate is whether the state should, and how it can, address the problem of social and economic inequality that emerged alongside the industrialisation process.
Doctor, M. (2012). Inequality, social policy and state welfare regimes in developing countries: The case of Brazil. In J. Connelly, & J. Hayward (Eds.), The Withering of the Welfare State: Regression (155-171). London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230349230_10