What social model are we heading for?
Analysis of the World Bank’s ‘new social contract’
It has been said and it has been repeated: social policies have been the major victims of neoliberal globalisation. During the past forty years, attention for social protection and social development, everywhere, shifted towards ‘poverty reduction’, the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank’s prescriptions continuously implied cuts in social spending and targeted policies in the South, while ‘austerity’ was introduced in the North with negative consequences on welfare states and labour law.
The changing world of work and the fundamental societal changes – migration, ageing, women on the labour market – recently gave rise to some timid discussions on social protection. The only real debate that took place in the North concerned the possible introduction of a ‘Universal Basic Income’, a basically liberal idea that almost inevitably would make an end to welfare states.
Democracy is a constant struggle for compromise —forever a construction site. An end is never in sight as people will always have to renegotiate how they live together. This highlights the necessity of seeking compromise that always takes some back and forth, some give and take. The process is exhausting, sometimes even painful, but requires a forceful people’s stand from a position of power –just keep in mind the early 20th century introduction of the women’s right to vote or the civil rights and anti apartheid movements –they sure were more than worth fighting for. (Deutsche Welle)
The danger (problem?) is that democracies die democratically (Boaventura de Souza Santos)
Read the article by Claudio Schuftan
In today’s world of planetary destruction and debasing of humankind, we have to re-think the meaning of our fundamental values and concepts. In this contribution, I want to look at production and its links to re-production and what this means for social and political transformation geared towards social justice. First, I will develop the idea of value attached to re-productive activities. Secondly, related to gender, I will show that one can de-commodify reproductive work without de-monetising it. In order to do so, one has to get rid of the ‘immaterial values’ too often attributed to women. It is the context in which we can start to think of commons and social commons in a way that re-values women’s work and fully integrates them into the world of economic and social rights. Moreover, the commons of rights contribute to the shaping and building of society. Lees verder
For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?
by Joseph Stiglitz
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The institutions contin ue sleepwalking, as the authors say in their report on the recent annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF
The World Bank recently issued a White Paper on rethinking social protection systems to extend coverage. While at first glance this is an honourable goal, the proposals in Protecting All: Risk-Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work would do little to achieve this aim. The paper proposes a rollback of existing rights and protections for workers, both in terms of social security and labour market protections. Leo Baunach, Evelyn Astor and Stephen Kidd argue that this approach would increase inequality and undermine poverty reduction.
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A very interesting study by TNI: by the end of august 2019 Africa had been hit by 106 known investment treaty arbitration claims.
The World Bank claims poverty is decreasing around the world but UN research shows it depends on what you measure. If we are serious about reducing poverty, we need to start by properly identifying it.
The World Bank has repeatedly claimed that extreme poverty is on the decline. In its Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, it states that ’the world has made tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty. The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting continued but slowing progress. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.’
The World Bank’s extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day is in fact not based on real estimates of people’s cost of living within countries. This explains why it fails to capture the desperation experienced by so many.
by Sharon Burrow/ITUC
Following the influx of over three million asylum seekers into the European Union in the three-year period 2015–2017, Member States faced a number of challenges related to integrating the newly arrived into their country. This report explores the role of public services – specifically housing, social services, health and education services – in the social and economic integration of refugees and asylum seekers. It aims to identify the factors that hinder this process and the elements that contribute to successful integration. The overall focus is on destination countries, particularly the three countries most affected by the inflow of refugees and asylum seekers: Austria, Germany and Sweden.
New publication of Eurofound