Indeed, whatever one's position in relation to globalization the concept/debate is a significant one for this field, and even 'septic internationalists' who otherwise deny the fundamental precepts of the globalization thesis would agree there is a need to address the wider global contexts and dimensions of social policy. In fact, used carefully, 'globalization' presents many new opportunities to critically interrogate social policy to think about how we construct fields of enquiry, the concepts and theories we use, the areas and issues we examine, and the types of questions we ask. (Nicola Yeates)
One basic illustration of how a globalization perspective 'disrupts' the precepts of social policy is to consider how it challenges the basic unit of analysis the national welfare state. Thus, academic social policy has essentially been concerned with variations in how welfare services are financed, organized, delivered, and consumed within these political territories as well as with the effects of these services on the social structure, social relations, and quality of life of their resident populations. Whether the variations are between social groups, over time, or between countries, the nation-state and the social policies enacted within it have framed the analysis. In many ways, this is sensible: after all, most welfare services are organized, funded, regulated, and delivered by governmental and non-governmental entities based and operating within the territorial boundaries of individual countries, while the services provided are usually accessed by people living in those same countries.
Yet in other ways this orientation unnecessarily restricts, even distorts, the field of enquiry by focusing our gaze on the national context to the detriment of the transnational and global ones. In particular, it presumes that the forces shaping the social structure are primarily local and national ones and that the entities involved in formulating and implementing social policy operate purely on a national basis. It obscures the various transnational sites and spaces in which social policies are formulated, and the social impacts of 'our' domestic and foreign economic and development policies on other countries and populations. In essence, it problematically assumes that social policy exists within an impermeable national container space, and that it develops with little or no reference to the global circumstances of 'our' country or its relationship to other countries, or to developments and events elsewhere in the world. (C Murray, 1984)
Globalization brings new concerns and perspectives to social policy. A globalization perspective also brings new perspectives and subject matter to social policy, extending its field of enquiry. To begin with, it opens up to enquiry the ways in which the content of social policy and the distribution of welfare are shaped by: governmental and non-governmental organizations responding not only to domestic issues and sources of pressure but also to circumstances, events, and developments in other countries; the policies of foreign governments, international organizations, and financial institutions;