Perhaps the most discordant note in President Biden's speech last Tuesday was the contrast between the deep empathy for US service members and their families, and the apparent lack of empathy for those left at immediate risk in Afghanistan, let alone the country’s larger population. It was jarring to see him tack back and forth between soft empathy and a harsh and palpable anger. Reading the transcript alone does not do it justice.
States and societies are in crisis around the world, as questions arise around the nature and quality of existing social contracts. COVID-19 has laid bare profound vulnerabilities within and across societies. The global pandemic is revealing deep failures in policy visions, institutional fragility, and incapacities of states to harness societal compliance where trust and a sense of national belonging is weak. At the same time, our interdependencies have never been so clear, as all countries, developed and underdeveloped alike, confront similar challenges. Crisis, however, offers opportunity to do things better, to build forward better – strengthening social contracts at all levels. How then, can social contracts, and compacting in times of crisis, offer pathways to address inequality and exclusion?
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018, the 10th outbreak in the DRC, was the first time that the disease emerged in a conflict zone. This report, the second in a series on the Ebola epidemic, attempts to explain how the epidemic and the transnational effort launched to contain it (the Riposte) was affected by this violence, and how they in turn influenced the armed conflict.
Shared capital, defined as a broadly distributed pattern of rights over productive assets, can be a powerful instrument to address economic and social inequalities. We argue that initiatives to bring about shared capital can foster both redistribution and recognition, and thereby bring about more inclusive and peaceful societies. Based on experience, we suggest moreover that they are feasible and can be advanced by suitable policies and actions—at local, national, and global levels.