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Symposium 2013

Social Norms and Moral Principles to Reduce Poverty and Improve Equity

The Challenge

Rising inequality and the associated perception of inequity (unfairness) will impact global politics significantly in 2013. The phenomenon affects both rich and poor countries, and is apparent in different forms, in democracies, oligarchies and autocracies. If the percentage of wealth in the hands of a tiny number of people becomes disproportionately large, while median wealth has stagnated, social problems are inevitable. When this occurs in circumstances of high levels of unemployment and conditions of fiscal austerity, the problem is exacerbated. This characterizes the situation in much of the world at present. Recent research suggests that high measures of income inequality are strongly correlated with dangerous social pathology, while greater equality of income correlates with better social indicators. The areas considered include physical and mental health, educational performance, child well-being, trust and community life, social mobility, teenage births, obesity, drug abuse, violence and imprisonment.

The extent to which this threatens social harmony and political stability within states, and frustrates collective action on a global scale poses a difficult challenge today. Classical redistribution policies based on taxes and social security systems, are both more constrained and less effective in the face of high levels of national debt, significant fiscal austerity, the impact of information technology on skills requirements, and labour mobility across borders, not least because of the mobility of capital, and widespread use of integrated manufacturing supply chains.

What are the social norms and moral principles that can guide us to develop new concepts and new insights to effectively reduce poverty and improve equity?

This session is part of the issue cluster "Poverty in the Midst of Plenty".

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Distinguish between poverty and inequality - and address both

    Distinguish between poverty and inequality - and address both

    Distinguish between poverty and inequality - and address both

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Use different tools to tackle poverty and inequality in different countries

    Use different tools to tackle poverty and inequality in different countries

    Use different tools to tackle poverty and inequality in different countries

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Reassert the sovereignty of the people - and our collective interest in the planet

    Reassert the sovereignty of the people - and our collective interest in the planet

    Reassert the sovereignty of the people - and our collective interest in the planet

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Move to a more comprehensive model for measuring and delivering human wellbeing

    Move to a more comprehensive model for measuring and delivering human wellbeing

    Move to a more comprehensive model for measuring and delivering human wellbeing

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2013

    Social Norms and Moral Principles to Reduce Poverty and Improve Equity

    1. It is widely taken for granted that excessive inequality may induce severe social unrest and is therefore to be avoided or reduced. It can be shown that European countries are relatively successful ...

    1. It is widely taken for granted that excessive inequality may induce severe social unrest and is therefore to be avoided or reduced. It can be shown that European countries are relatively successful in reducing inequality by means of their specific welfare state systems (taxes and transfers), as compared to other countries (e.g., USA, China and New Zealand). 2. However, European countries have established different variants of welfare state models, which are not equally successful in containing potential negative effects on their economic performance, particularly on growth and employment. It seems that, on the one hand, the “Anglophone” and, on

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2013

    Poverty, inequality and equity – rethinking the paradigm

    To manage systemic global risks, and to protect the global commons, we need better governance of transnational challenges. It is not clear that we are moving in the right direction. The tension bet ...

    To manage systemic global risks, and to protect the global commons, we need better governance of transnational challenges. It is not clear that we are moving in the right direction. The tension between the short-term pressures on national leaders from their citizens, and the trade-offs needed to balance costs and benefits in inter-national and inter-temporal transactions, makes collective action on transnational scales difficult under most circumstances. Current events, from the recent global financial crisis and recession, to the risk of inflection points if we transgress planetary boundaries, make it clear that present arrangements are far from satisfactory.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Background Paper
    Symposium 2013

    Asia Sociery Li Gan - Income Inequality China Final.pdf

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Background Paper
    Symposium 2013

    Brookings-US Inequality and Norms of Global Governance

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Background Paper
    Symposium 2013

    Global Agenda

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society