1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Book: Visible Hands: Taking Responsibility for Social Development

1 Jun 2000

Five years after Copenhagen, there is little indication that the fundamental goals and values orienting world development are moving toward greater social responsibility. Incentives in everything from education to investment decisions have been reoriented toward improving the options of the profit-maximizing individual. The investor has become more important than the worker. And the consumer has gained higher status than the citizen.

Too much confidence in the rationality of the "invisible hand" has been matched by too little understanding of the necessary relation between public policy and the market. Efficient markets require the contributions of a well-run public sector. They require a healthy, well-educated and well-informed population. And they require the social stability that grows out of democratic governance and an acceptable level of public provision.

This report challenges us to reassert the values of equity and social solidarity in a world where the invisible hand of the market has no capacity to imagine a decent society for all people.

Globalization with a human mask
Who pays? Financing social development
Fragile democracies
A new mission for the public sector
Calling corporations to account
Civil societies
Getting development right for women
Sustaining development