Why does social contract matter?
Politics is about the social contract.
That’s how political parties, civil society organisations, unions, charities and other institutions work.
They all aim to help each other, to create new forms of trust and mutual understanding between people, and to encourage and protect the welfare of their members and the public.
But the social contracts and other agreements we make to make the world a better place can also be the foundation for conflict.
The social contract, the agreement that binds people together in the same way as parents, husbands, fathers and brothers, can often be fragile, and in some cases, even impossible to keep.
What’s more, there is little to no accountability.
It is difficult to find a clear line between what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and that is because it is hard to know when it is acceptable to behave in a certain way.
In this piece, we look at how political organisations, civil societies and governments can play a key role in building trust and understanding between communities, in helping them form new forms to fight poverty, and making the world better.
Social contract What is the social covenant?
Political parties, unions and civil society groups all make promises to each other that they are committed to building a better world.
But how are they doing it?
It’s hard to get a clear definition of what the social pact is.
There is no set definition.
It depends on the context and how people think about what is being pledged.
It can be the promise to help people, to protect them, to make their lives better, or to help them live together more safely.
And what kind of commitments are they making?
One way of looking at the social agreement is that it is an agreement between people on how to live together.
It’s not a set of rules or guidelines, but it is a commitment to take responsibility for your actions, and for doing so, you have to pay attention to how they are going to affect you.
In the case of political parties and unions, it’s often about the promises they make about how they will fight poverty and fight climate change, and it’s not necessarily about how to make a better future for people in your community.
Another way of understanding the social deal is that the agreement has to be put in place for everyone.
There are a range of social agreements that govern the behaviour of political leaders and their organisations, but they all have a common theme.
It has to do with social cohesion, or, more specifically, how you can live together in a way that is good for everyone, and which minimises the risk of conflict.
What kind of agreement does the UK have?
The Social Contract is an international treaty that came into force in 2000, with the aim of ensuring that social cohesion is preserved across borders.
It includes commitments to: ensure that the rights of people to social security are respected and protected, and the right of people with disabilities to the equal treatment that they deserve, and promote the rule of law; promote the peaceful and prosperous coexistence of people; promote mutual respect and tolerance in society; promote economic prosperity; promote freedom of expression, association and assembly; and support the principle of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of peaceful assembly and peaceful assembly without interference, freedom of religion, freedom to practise and teach, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom for the peaceful enjoyment of private and family life, freedom on the basis of gender, and freedom of association and association rights for the promotion of gender equality and for the protection of people’s rights to health, safety and family security.
What are the challenges that we face?
There are two main problems.
The first is that many political parties have broken promises about the way they will deliver on their promises, and many civil society organizations have also broken promises, including those that govern their activities.
A lot of this has been about the financial cost of political campaigns, particularly the expensive travel costs for candidates and their staff, as well as the costs of staff training and equipment.
The second problem is that some political parties are not in the business of building social cohesion.
They are in the politics of dividing people, making them feel as though they are on the losing side of the argument, and not actually delivering the kind of social cohesion that the social compact was designed to build.
The challenge for social cohesion in the UK is to build a better social contract that is inclusive and that encourages people to make decisions that will benefit everyone.
This will require politicians to take a hard look at what they are promising, and how they can deliver it.