A dynamic national agreement between state and society, including different groups in society, on how to live together, and notably, around how power is distributed and exercised. It allows for the peaceful mediation of different demands and conflicting interests, and different expectations and understandings of rights and responsibilities (including with nested and/or overlapping social contracts that may transcend the state), over time, and in response to contextual factors (including shocks and stressors), through varied mechanisms, institutions and processes.
The research investigates three propositions – “drivers” of a resilient national social contract – developed through deep examination of the relevant bodies of literature and subject to extensive discussion with our Working Group. Political settlements and social contract-making spheres and mechanisms are increasingly inclusive and responsive to core conflict issues. Institutions (formal, customary and informal) are increasingly effective and inclusive and have broadly shared outcomes that meet societal expectations and enhance state legitimacy. Social cohesion is broadening and deepening, with formal and informal ties and interactions binding society horizontally (across citizens, between groups) and vertically (in the relations between citizens/groups and the state). View All Concept Definitions