One of the world's most influential economists sets out the basis for a new social contract fit for the 21st century
This landmark study by Minouche Shafik, Director of the LSE, draws on evidence from across the globe to show that the social contract - how we pool risks, share resources and balance individual and collective responsibility - shapes not just our wealth and opportunities but the very fabric of our lives. And yet societies everywhere are failing to adapt to the global upheavals of technology, demography and climate, leading to a breakdown in mutual trust the world over.
Brilliantly lucid and accessible, What We Owe Each Other draws on a wealth of evidence and learning to outline the basic principles that every society must adopt to meet these challenges. Reshaping the social contract will have profound implications for gender equality, education, healthcare provision, the role of business and the future of work. This book will equip every reader to understand and play their part in this urgent and necessary transformation.
In this timely call for a new social contract, Minouche Shafik invites us to rethink what we owe one another as citizens, within and across generations. In the tradition of Beveridge, one of her predecessors as director of the LSE, Shafik points us toward a more generous social contract, one that shares risks and broadens opportunity. At a time when government seems broken, this excellent book offers a hopeful framework for social, economic, and political renewal -- Michael J. Sandel, author of The Tyranny of Merit: Can We Find the Common Good?
A necessary contribution at a turning-point in history. Minouche Shafik maps out the great challenges of our time and inspires us to rise to them. Her book is a must-read for policymakers - as well as anyone interested in making the world a better place -- Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Minouche Shafik's up-to-the-moment book presents a powerful and persuasive moral argument. She calls for a more generous, more equal world and offers an analysis that is rigorous and specific enough to help readers think practically about the policies needed to bring that world into being. For societies asking how to rebuild, What We Owe Each Other is an important place to start -- Melinda Gates
A thought-provoking, beautifully argued, and easily accessible book. It is a must-read for all those seeking to understand why the bonds that bind society together are so frayed and what we can do about it to create a world fit for our children and grandchildren to live in -- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation
This erudite book argues that we need to recognise our obligations to each other and to society ... a thought-provoking addition to our current, urgent debates -- Daron Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail
About the Author
Nemat (Minouche) Shafik is the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Born in Egypt, she emigrated as a child to the USA, later moving to the UK for post-graduate studies in economics. At 36, she became the youngest ever Vice President of the World Bank and has since held positions as Permanent Secretary of the UK's Department for International Development, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. In these roles she has worked on major policy upheavals across the globe, from the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the Arab Spring, to the financial crash in 2008 and the Eurozone crisis. Following her appointment as Director of the LSE in 2017, she launched a programme of research, 'Beveridge 2.0', to rethink the welfare state for the 21st century. She was made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2015 and in 2020 was appointed a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.