Social Justice for the Sustainability of Life: on the need for a global social pact

(VI Congreso de la Red Española de Políticas sociales, Sevilla 16-17 February 2017)

In the current period of uncertainty and anxiety for the future, it gives confidence to look back at the not so far away past, in order to see what was possible then and what has been real only fifty years ago: national social pacts within developing welfare states in the North and global agreements on the need for social progress in the South. It is also good to remember that it is not the recent crisis of 2008 that has put an end to these pacts and agreements. Indeed, the real turn came with the crisis of the 1970s and the ‘structural adjustment’ programmes in the South from the 1980s onward. More recently and everywhere, social protection acquired a new meaning, aimed at ‘human capital’, protecting the most vulnerable while promoting markets and growth. What is new today, is that we are also faced with fundamental changes in modes of production and consequently changes on the labour markets. While several innovative proposals for social protection are being made, the need for a new and global social pact in order to promote the sustainability of life, for humans and for nature, is particularly urgent.


‘What about Monsanto?’ Reflections on the future of work, transformative social protection and systemic change

The world of work is changing very rapidly. In the European Union, 11 million people are out of work, including 4.6 million young people.[1] World-wide, the ILO speaks of almost 200 million unemployed people and almost half of the total workforce, or 1.5 billion people are in vulnerable employment.[2] Governments are all in austerity mode and claim to have no other possibility than try and believe better skills and flexible labour markets will bring solutions.

Chances are minimal they will ever succeed. Continue…