XIII International Form on Social Security – Global Social Security and Economic Development

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

The neoliberal paradigm treating social security as an unnecessary fiscal burden to the modern state has gained ever more public support throughout the last decades, and could even maintain discourse hegemony after the 2008 financial crisis. Since the economic crisis, the general perception of economic growth being curbed by excessive social security spending has arguably been the prevalent point of view among most industrial as well as developing societies. Confronted with this threat to social security, the FES, in cooperation with the China Association of Social Security (CAoSS) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), co-organized this year’s conference on “Global Social Security and Economic Development” on Sept. 16-17 in Nanjing. The conference was held as a parallel sub-event to the “XIII International Forum on Social Security”, which is held every year by turns in China, Japan and South Korea.

The co-organizers have invited a number of renowned international experts to the conference, namely Dr. Pierre Concialdi (France), Dr. Francis Kessler (France), Dr. Samuel Greef (Germany), Dr. John Hudson (UK), Dr. John David Stephens (USA), Prof. Taichi Ono (Japan), Dr. Lee Sopiha Seung-Yoon (South Korea) and Dr. Athar Hussain (UK).  The discussions centered both on country-specific developments in the realms of social security and economic development, but also on issue-specific challenges shared by all respective countries, such as pension policy, poverty alleviation, healthcare and the future of work (mainly caused by digitalization and automation).  Despite country-specific differences, many challenges the countries are facing with respect to social security and economic development are similar.

The discussions will form part of a comprehensive, comparative study on the relationship between social security and economic development in China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, UK, the Nordic countries and the US. The study is jointly conducted by the China Association of Social Security, ILO and FES with a focus on how China as a successful developing country can further expand social security without endangering economic growth.

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