In order to understand why the American Social Security system has been so resistant to change while the retirement systems in other countries have been amended, this Article analyzes why one country, France, was able to reform its retirement system significantly in 2003. The Article begins by briefly describing the French retirement system prior to 2003. It then provides an overview of the most significant changes wrought by the reform enacted in 2003. It then analyses why, after years of inaction and failed attempts to reform the French retirement system, the government succeeded in reforming the retirement system in 2003. Finally, it considers why the United States, after years of debate, has not enacted any major reform of its Social Security system in the last twenty years.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2005

Notes/Citation Information

Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2005), pp. 251-290