The Role of International Social Security Standards

An in-depth study through the case of Greece

By Maria Korda

The international social security standards adopted by the International Labor Organization and the Council of Europe aim at safeguarding and advancing social security, especially at troublesome periods. Within the context of the European Union and beyond, most countries are bound by a variety of these standards. Thus, while each country designed and developed its own social security system, the acceptance and ratification of new international standards provided substantial guidance and a normative context to the national systems. However, over the years, certain shortcomings emerged which have prevented the standards from achieving their full potential, and the standards do not seem to enjoy much popularity anymore. This evokes the question whether and how these standards are still relevant to domestic social security systems. In order to investigate this, an in-depth study of a particular country is essential. Greece is an interesting case study, since it has ratified several standards and has a rather well-developed social security system. Its history of early democracy, the interruption of democracy by the Colonels' Regime, and its re-establishment in 1974, as well as the re-building and re-organization of society, have significantly influenced the context for the further implementation of these standards and the adoption of new ones. This study provides a thorough insight into how Greece has dealt through time with the standards and in the role standards may play. The book contributes to the current international discussion and enriches it by addressing in a manifold way, the question: What are the obstacles to further promoting the international social security standards in a developed social security system? It identifies and describes the various obstacles, but also analyzes them and places them into a broader systematic framework. The book also shows which of them have proven to be the greatest, demonstrating their interrelationship and making recommendations about how these obstacles may be overcome. As a result, the book exceeds by far the limits of a single country study and triggers further discussion in view of the recently revived interest for international social security standards, which became apparent during the 2011 and 2012 conferences of the International Labor Organization. (Series: Social Europe - Vol. 32)


790 pages

Publication Date: 5/29/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780681658