Everybody uses the term `social security, but definitions vary widely. This
unique book may be conceived as a wide-ranging definition, although in fact it
emphasizes only part of the concept: that administrative function that grants
cash benefits to offset or compensate for such `social risks as old age,
disability, unemployment, costs of health care, and other instances
occasioning the lack of means necessary for a decent existence. In an earlier
form (1993), this book proved itself as a much-sought-after introduction to
the field, for governments as much as for law students. In this completely
revised and updated work, Professor Pieters again offers, this time to a new
generation of scholars and policymakers, a common language and structure with
which to talk and think about social security.
The presentation is both abstract (theory of social security) and concise
(structure of social security systems). In taking into account the diversity
of ways in which social security has been shaped by priorities of place and
time, Dr Pieters delineates the distinct alternatives that can be adhered to
in establishing a social security system. He builds a frame in which these
various concepts, principles, options, and techniques can be put into
perspective. Although this approach hints at a `common law of social security,
Dr Pieters goes no further in that direction than a brief general survey (in
his last chapter) of the possible features of a comparative social security
Social Security: An Introduction to the Basic Principles is sure
to find a welcome among many sectors of the legal and policy communities. Full
of insight and information, and eminently readable, the book may be seen in a
number of different ways: as a road map explaining the social security systems
of various states; as an overview of the various options available for
building a social security system; as an exploration of the possibilities of
rethinking or reforming an existing system; as the first tentative step toward
a scientific discipline of comparative social security law; and much else
Preface . 1. The concept of social security. 2. Sources of
social security law. 3. Administering social security. 4.
Personal scope of application. 5. Social risks (concept). 6.
Social risks and social benefits (general). 7. Old age. 8.
Decease. 9. Incapacity for work. 10. Unemployment. 11.
Family burden. 12. Health care. 13. Care (dependency). 14.
Need. 15. Financing social security. 16. Judicial protection.
17. Enforcing social security law. 18. Protection of personal
privacy and of fundamental freedoms. 19. International social security
law. 20. Social security (law) comparison.