Established in May 1987, FISS is an independent, non-profit association that aims to promote international, multidisciplinary research on social security, including its relationships with other aspects of society (such as the labour market, unemployment, poverty, income redistribution, savings, housing, the family, health and well-being).
‘Social security is here taken as encompassing all collective (public, semi-public and private) programmes for transfer of income in cash or in kind to consumer households. Only with such a broad definition is international comparison and cross-country analysis possible. FISS intends to create an independent, multidisciplinary, international academic community of those working on the relationship between social security and other aspects of society (like poverty and income distribution, labour market, health and disability, saving behaviour, etc.). Policy relevance of the studies will be, given the area of study, kept in mind’ (Atkinson and Emanuel, Preface to Atkinson and Rein (eds.) Age, Work and Social Security, 1993)
FISS pursues its aim by organizing scientific seminars and conferences and by publishing books.
‘…the Sigtuna seminars … bring together scholars and researchers from all over the world .. To present and discuss findings on the economic, legal and social aspects of social security and its relationships with other aspects of society … Young scholars are able to discuss their findings with experienced research workers. An increasing number of social security administrators and government representatives attend to listen and participate’ (Stein Ringen, Preface to FISS Volume 7, 2001)
FISS is managed on a day to day basis by the Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy of the University of Antwerp.
FISS is overseen by a Board of Governors, which is chaired by Professor Peter Saunders (University of New South Wales).
History of FISS:
– Establishment of FISS, located within the Economics Department, Faculty of Law, Leiden University in the Netherlands
– Critical role of ‘Founding Governor’ Han Emanuel; Egbert de Vries appointed first FISS Chairman (now President)
– First FISS conference on ‘Age, Work and Social Security’ organised with the Centre for Population, Poverty and Policy Studies (CEPS) in Luxembourg. Around 50 participants; selected papers published by Macmillan in volume edited by Tony Atkinson and Martin Rein in 1993
– Second FISS conference on ‘Social Security and Health Care’ planned/held (?) in Zurich, Switzerland
– Tony Atkinson appointed second President of FISS
– FISS involved in the organisation of the ‘Social Security: 50 Years After Beveridge’ conference held in York, England in 1992
– FISS conference on ‘Curing the Dutch Disease: An International Perspective on Disability Policy Reform’ held in Rotterdam. Proceedings published by Ashgate as Volume 1 in the FISS International Studies on Social Security in 1996
– First FISS conference held in Sigtuna, Sweden (at Sigtunahöjden)
– last volume in the International Studies on Social Security (volume 16) published
– FISS Board of Governors expanded
– FISS/Intersentia Best paper Prize introduced. The paper ‘should involve comparison within Europe or between Europe and elsewhere and/or have an EU dimension and/or be of theoretical or general significance’.
– Sigtunahöjden conference centre destroyed in fire, FISS 2014 in Sigtuna Brannbö, Sweden
– FISS conference held in Hong Kong, with sponsorship from the Chinese University of Hong Kong