What we owe each other

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Childcare, education, nursing for the sick, support for the elderly and those who cannot provide for themselves - every one of us will need some or all of these things over the course of our lives. How we ensure their provision - 'the social contract' - is what shapes our societies and defines our politics. Shafik argues that our current period of political turbulence stems from outdated social contracts, which have failed to accommodate massive changes in demography, work and the expectations of women. They are also woefully ill-equipped to tackle the major challenges of the 21st century: pandemic, ageing populations, the impact of technology and the climate crisis.