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Short Title

Social Development

Abstract

This article provides an historical background to the special issue by tracing the evolution of social development, asset building and social investment in different parts of the world. These approaches transcend remedial and service-oriented interventions and seek to promote progressive social change. They also stress the importance of investing in people and communities, and focusing on their strengths rather than deficits. The historical evolution of these three approaches in different countries and world regions is described, and their key features are highlighted. The article compares these approaches and considers some of their implications for social welfare, pointing out that they raise a number of issues that should be debated. Some of these issues and the challenges they pose to social welfare scholars are discussed.

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