Pub. Date:
Brookings Institution Press
Building Decent Societies: Rethinking the Role of Social Security in Development

Building Decent Societies: Rethinking the Role of Social Security in Development

by Peter Townsend


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The downturn of the global economy has made the scope of poverty and unemployment worse across the world. This book makes the case for developing a comprehensive social security system in all countries to eliminate desperate conditions of poverty, to reverse growing inequality, and to sustain economic growth.

The establishment of universal social security systems has been one of the cornerstones of OECD countries' successful economic and social development. Because the two are inextricably intertwined across countries, new international strategies are required to design appropriate social security policies that would help reduce poverty and contribute to development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789221219958
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 12/02/2009
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Peter Townsend is professor of International Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables x

List of Boxes xii

Notes on Contributors xiii

Foreword by Assane Diop xix

Acknowledgements xxi

1 Introduction Peter Townsend 1

Part I The Right to Social Security and National Development 27

2 Social Security and Human Rights Peter Townsend 29

Part II Issues for the Global Society of the Twenty-first Century 61

3 Social Protection and Nation-Building: an Essay on Why and How Universalist Social Policy Contributes to Stable Nation-States Chris de Neubourg 63

4 Social Security, Social Impact and Economic Performance: a Farewell to Three Famous Myths Michael Cichon Wolfgang Scholz 80

5 Can Low-Income Countries Afford Social Security? Christina Behrendt Krzysztof Hagemejer 99

6 The Impact of Social Transfers on Growth, Development, Poverty and Inequality in Developing Countries Michael Samson 122

7 Investment in Social Security: a Possible UN Model for Child Benefit? Peter Townsend 151

Part III Social Protection in Europe and the OECD 167

8 Three Models of Social Security in the History of the Industrialized Countries Peter Townsend 159

9 Social Protection, the European Union and its Member States Raymond Wagener 190

10 Can the European Welfare Model be Exported? Peter H. Lindert 201

11 The Poverty Effects of Social Protection in Europe: EU Enlargement and its Lessons for Developing Countries Bea Cantillon 220

Part IV Experiences from Low-Income Countries 243

12 Social Security in Developing Countries: a Brief Overview Peter Townsend 245

13 Introducing Basic Social Protection in Low-Income Countries: Lessons from Existing Programmes Armando Barrientos 253

14 Social Protection, RuralLivelihoods and Economic Growth: the Case of Cash Transfers in Malawi, Ethiopia and Bangladesh Rachel Slater John Farrington Rebecca Holmes Paul Harvey 274

15 Welfare, Development and Growth: Lessons from South Africa Francie Lund 290

16 From Targeting to Universality: Lessons from the Health System in Thailand Viroj Tangcharoensathien Phusit Prakongsai Supon Limwattananon Walaiporn Patcharanarumol Pongpisut Jongudomsuk 310

Part V Conclusions 323

17 Rethinking the Role of Social Security in Development Christina Behrendt Michael Cichon Krzysztof Hagemejer Stephen Kidd Rudiger Krech Peter Townsend 325

References 338

Index 366

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