“Shifting wealth” – a process that started in the 1990s and took off in the 2000s – has led to a completely new geography of growth driven by the economic rise of large developing countries, in particular China and India. The resulting re-configuration of the global economy will shape the political, economic and social agendas of international development as those of the converging and poor countries for the years to come.
This report analyses the impact of “Shifting wealth” on social cohesion, largely focusing on high-growth converging countries. A “cohesive” society works towards the well-being of all its members, creates a sense of belonging and fights against the marginalization within and between different groups of societies. The question this report asks is how does the structural transformation in converging economies affect their “social fabric”, their sense of belonging or put generally their ability to peacefully manage collective action problems.
Recent events in well performing countries in the Arab world but also beyond such as in Thailand, China and India seem to suggest that economic growth, rising fiscal resources and improvements in education are not sufficient to create cohesion; governments need to address social deficits and actively promote social cohesion if long-term development is to be sustainable.
Table of contents:
Acronyms and abbreviations Preface Executive Summary PART I. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR SOCIAL COHESION Chapter 1.Shifting Wealth: AWindow of Opportunity -Introduction -Shifting up a gear: The spread of convergence in the developing world -Shifting wealth: New resources for development -Conclusion: Towards resource availability and sustainability Chapter 2.Social Cohesion and Development -Introduction -Defining social cohesion -Traditional and subjective measurement of social cohesion -Why does social cohesion matter? -Shifting wealth, social cohesion and development – A simple framework -Conclusion Chapter 3.The Challenges for Social Cohesion in a Shifting World -Introduction -Structural transformation challenges -Employment challenges -Migration challenges -Agricultural challenges -Conclusion Chapter 4.Inequality -Introduction -Trends in inequality between and within countries -Understanding the distributional challenges of social cohesion -Disentangling patterns of distributional change: The example of education -Social cohesion and preferences for redistribution -Conclusion PART II. BUILDING A POLICY AGENDA FOR SOCIAL COHESION IN TIMES OF SHIFTING WEALTH Chapter 5.Sustainable Fiscal Policies for Stronger Social Contracts -Introduction -How social cohesion and fiscal policy are linked -Taxation in developing countries -Social cohesion and fiscal legitimacy: Evidence and policies -Sustainable fiscal policies -Key principles of fiscal reform -Conclusion Chapter 6.Employment and Social Protection Policies for Social Cohesion -Introduction -Employment and social cohesion -Labour market institutions and wage determination -Implications for social protection -The need for greater coherence across social and economic policies -Conclusion Chapter 7.Social Cohesion and Policies for Enhancing Civic Participation -Introduction -New governance challenges in the period of shifting wealth -Why civic participation matters for social cohesion -Bringing government closer to the people: Service delivery, accountability and decentralisation -New tools for civic participation: The role of ICTs and virtual communities -What the new ICT tools mean for political governance and social cohesion -Conclusion Chapter 8.Cross-cutting Policy Issues -Introduction -Education -Gender equality -Food policy -Integration of immigrants -Transforming and adapting institutions -Conclusion Chapter 9.Fostering Social Cohesion in a Shifting World -Introduction -Developing a fiscally sustainable social cohesion agenda -Framing social cohesion policies -The role of donors in promoting social cohesion -Conclusion Statistical Annex: The Four-Speed World Classification