International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 529–556 | Cite as

Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond

  • Robert Holzmann
  • Steen Jørgensen


This paper proposes a new definition and conceptual framework for Social Protection grounded in Social Risk Management. The concept repositions the traditional areas of Social Protection (labor market intervention, social insurance and social safety nets) in a framework that includes three strategies to deal with risk (prevention, mitigation and coping), three levels of formality of risk management (informal, market-based, public) and many actors (individuals, households, communities, NGOs, governments at various levels and international organizations) against the background of asymmetric information and different types of risk. This expanded view of Social Protection emphasizes the double role of risk management instruments—protecting basic livelihood as well as promoting risk taking. It focuses specifically on the poor since they are the most vulnerable to risk and typically lack appropriate risk management instruments, which constrains them from engaging in riskier but also higher return activities and hence gradually moving out of chronic poverty.

social protection social risk management poverty vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Holzmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steen Jørgensen
    • 1
  1. 1.The World BankN.W.
  2. 2.University of SaarlandGermany

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