Effective interventions

Reimagining Social Contracts: An analytical paper of KPSRL discussions in 2022

Europe West-Africa, East Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Horn of Africa, East Africa,
Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

KPSRL’s 2022 thematic headline was ‘Reimagining Social Contracts’; a theme that guided a kick-off webinar, a window of the Knowledge Management Fund (KMF) and the Annual Conference (KPAC22). This paper takes stock of the multiple insights on reimagining the social contract(s) that emerged in these activities as a springboard for continuing the conversation in 2023.

The paper was written by the KPSRL Secretariat with input from KPAC22 session hosts, KMF grantees, and the wider KPSRL network, and will discuss the following topics:

  • A definition of social contract(s) as analytical concept, reconstructed from multiple contributions from the KPSRL network
  • Processes for supporting inclusive social contracts, which emerged as one ideal form of social contracts
  • The divide between formal and informal sources of authority and power.
  • The connection between social contracts and social norms
  • The role of protest movements in contesting social contracts
  • The role of international partnerships, putting centre-stage issues of decolonisation and the development of more equitable partnerships
  • Implications for policymakers and practitioners, and areas where the conversation could continue in 2023
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