It is important to draw critical attention to the broad policy perspectives that travel across the globe and operate at multiple scales. Social Investment is clearly one such set of ideas that has assumed increasing prominence over the last two decades. Like most such rapidly diffusing ideas, however, it admits of quite different interpretations. In this article I examine the most recent iterations of the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs’ (DELSA) interpretation of Social Investment against the backdrop of its earlier work. I argue that its initial formulations could be seen as an example of inclusive liberalism. Since then, however, DELSA has begun to embrace important elements of a social democratic version, including a concern with gender equality.