Rewriting the social contract

Catherine Fieschi on the need to keep our modern tyrants at bay

The World Today Updated 8 February 2021 Published 3 August 2018 2 minute READ

Catherine Fieschi

Director, Counterpoint

These days, the seminars and conferences I attend span a set of pressing concerns − populist politics, regulating tech giants, the fragility of European institutions, environmental degradation or generational disparities. Of late, they have all tended to converge on a single endpoint: no matter where we start we always land on the need for a new ‘social contract’.

The term used to be a staple of liberal discussions, but it had fallen out of favour. Now it can feel like the political equivalent of balsamic vinegar − once a condiment of appropriate exception, now ladled over everything. Our collective return to the term says much about our shared hopes and fears.

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