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Social Security in the Global Village

There is growing recognition that globalization places major pressures on the development of social security schemes. Internationalization of the economy has important consequences for labor markets: employment is becoming less secure and inequality and social exclusion more pronounced in many countries. At the same time, there are some fundamental socio-demographic changes: new family structures, an aging population, and migration. Increased uncertainty and exclusion intensify the need for social security. Both the public and private sectors are redefining their roles, reshuffling responsibilities between states, markets, families, and individuals.

This volume investigates the challenges for social security in this new environment, and analyzes strategies of adjustment. Part 1, "Globalization and the Challenges for Social Security, " explores social responsibility; the financing of social protection and employment; globalization and national welfare regimes; and the situation of southern European welfare states. Part 2, "Global Pressures and Internal Adjustments, " discusses the constraints, challenges, and vulnerabilities of the welfare state; and surveys the impact and non-impact of globalization on social policy in the areas of social insurance quality, institutions, trade exposure, and deregulation in eighteen OECD nations (1965- 95). It includes a comparative view of social adjustment in New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland; and analyzes international trends in income inequality and social policy. Part 3, "Globalization and Social Cohesion, " elaborates on the various risks and responsibilities that globalization produces: and examines social policy as social risk management. Thisenlightening volume answers many outstanding questions: What are the effects of globalization on social security schemes? How well are countries dealing with these challenges? What role do national institutions play in shaping the process of adjustment?

Research can help to enlighten and inform the policy debate about the legitimacy of social security in the new, globalized world. This book aims to help those involved -- researchers and policy, makers alike -- advance toward that goal.

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About the Author

Roland Sigg is head of research at the International Social Security Association in Geneva, Switzerland, and lecturer at the University of Geneva. He currently coordinates comparative research projects in the field of the development of the Welfare State, pension, work incapacity and reintegration, and the administration of social security. He has edited several books on various social security issues and published numerous articles in national and international periodicals. Christina Behrendt is a freelance researcher and consultant for the International Social Security Association in Geneva. Her publications include a forthcoming monograph on the effectiveness of minimum income schemes in alleviating poverty, and articles in the Journal of European Social Policy and the International Social Security Review.

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