This introductory chapter talks about the evolution of and attitudes towards social security. It starts by identifying the various global trends that have been impacting all kinds of societal institutions. It then presents an outline of the topics that are discussed in the next few chapters, which are divided into three main parts. The first part is concerned with the institution of social security in a global perspective. The second part is devoted to a macro-sociological analysis of the institution that allows a global approach to its evolution, while identifying the chief factors that shape its development. Finally, the third part attempts to outline the foundations for a new political consensus on social security.
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