Social protection and state-citizen relations: A review of the literature

It is frequently assumed that social protection can play akey role in positively transforming state-citizen relations inthe global South. We examine the evidence with a focuson recipients and non-recipients, both citizens and non-citizens. Based on a systematic literature review, we iden-tify three levels of analysis: activity, perceptions and expec-tations. A common thread through these levels is thebifurcated and hierarchical nature of relationships betweensocial protection recipients on the one side and the stateand non-recipients on the other. Thus, the cross-section ofevidence does not conclusively support the oft-assumedtransformative potentials of social protection. Arguably,theoretical frameworks on activities, perceptions andexpectations allow us to explore further the differentiatedrelationships shaped by social protection.