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Social Security in Theory and Practice: An Essay


  • Dariusz Stanko

    (Osaka University, Warsaw School of Economics)


Understanding the role and functions of social policy and social security systems is a key point for a discussion on reforms of the retirement systems. In this essay I describe the subject and range of social policy in the modern welfare state. The work has a descriptive character and aims at presenting basic issues between social security, social policy and social insurance. In the first part I provide a discussion on the welfare state's definition and its structure; then I refer to the notion of social policy and present ideological foundations for social security development. Also, a typology of social policy regimes is presented. The essay also deals with the concept of social security, discusses its definitions, origins and discusses development. I go over the discussion concerning classical assumptions underlying the social security concept and present some recent major challenges that make the review of social security construct necessary. Some terminology and institutional differences between the US and European framework are presented as well. Part three analyses the issue and origins of various risks faced by society. Those social risks are described along with the social risk management issues that are at heart of current approach to social policy. The last part shortly deals with the functions of social security with a focus on social insurance as its main tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Dariusz Stanko, 2004. "Social Security in Theory and Practice: An Essay," Public Economics 0401007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0401007
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Windows2000; to print on any printer A4; pages: 40. pdf file, 40 pages

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Mosley & Robert Holzmann & Steen Jorgensen, 1999. "Social protection as social risk management: conceptual underpinnings for the social protection sector strategy paper," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 1005-1027.
    2. Barr, Nicholas, 1992. "Economic theory and the welfare state : a survey and interpretation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 279, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, "undated". "What Social Security: Beveridgean or Bismarckian?," Working Papers 2003-16, FEDEA.
    4. Peter Saunders, 1997. "Developing Policy Planning and Research Capabilities in the Asia Pacific," Discussion Papers 0078, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    5. Isabel Ortiz, 2007. "Social Policy," Policy Notes 6, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    6. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
    7. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
    8. Barr, Nicholas, 1992. "Economic Theory and the Welfare State: A Survey and Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 741-803, June.
    9. Holzmann,Robert & Jorgensen,Steen Lau, 2000. "Social risk management : a new conceptual framework for social protection and beyond," Policy Research Working Paper Series 21314, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    social security; social policy; social insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • H - Public Economics
    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare

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