What Future for Social Security? Debates and Reforms in National and Cross-National Perspective
The papers were originally presented at a Conference on `The Future of Social Security' held at the University of Stirling in June 2000. Taking into account developments and initiatives at every administrative level from sub-national employment agencies to the OECD and the World Bank, they draw on both data and theories in a broad spectrum of related disciplines, including political science, economics, sociology, and law. Detailed materials allow the reader to formulate well-defined responses to such crucial questions as: Is there indeed waning public support for social security? Is the `demographic time bomb' of an ageing population as serious a problem as we are often led to believe? How seriously do supranational reform proposals tend to underestimate cross-national differences? To what degree is `activation policy' merely rhetorical? To what extent do employment office staff reformulate and redefine policies `on the ground' to accommodate specific case-by-case realities? Specific criteria for entitlement (e.g., disability) and such central issues as `gendered' assumptions, access to benefit programmes, and the involvement of trade unions are examined in a variety of contexts. As an authoritative assessment of the current state of social security reform - its critical issues, its direction, and its potential impacts – What Future for Social Security? is an incomparable work, and is sure to be of great value to all professionals and officials concerned with social programmes at any government level.
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