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  Management of Social Transformations (MOST) - UNESCO

Policy Paper - No. 2

From social exclusion to social cohesion :
towards a policy agenda

The Roskilde Symposium
2-4 March 1995
University of Roskilde, Denmark

by

Sophie Bessis

also available in French and in Spanish


Table of Contents

FOREWORD
OVERVIEW
SYNTHESIS
APPENDIX : List of participants at the Roskilde symposium
NOTES

The need for a form of social accounting
The attitude of survival in a declared context of inevitable economic war


FOREWORD

Bringing together 120 heads of state and government and getting them to adopt a plan of action that commits states to take effective action against unemployment, poverty, and social exclusion: this was the practical result of the United Nations World Summit on Social Development, held 6-12 March 1995, in Copenhagen. In an international system where economism predominates, it could not be taken for granted that there would be such mobilization around the «social question.»

This being said the Social Summit - a political forum where the search for a global consensus takes precedence over the formulation of radical solutions - has not always touched upon basic questions concerning the sources of social problems, which affect, albeit in different ways, the South as well as the North. If the plan of action laid out at Copenhagen contains numerous proposals regarding social policies, it neglects to mention others, particularly those which may call into question current financial and macroeconomic policies. The social cost of these policies is very high; they are nonetheless preferred by the great powers and non-state agents which dominate and run the world system. The Copenhagen plan of action does not mention certain serious proposals that have been advanced in order to finance social development on a world scale, such as the «Tobin tax».

The preparation and deliberations of the Copenhagen Social Summit did not only mobilize governments. They also gave rise to an impressive number of activities, meetings, and publications on the part of the international and scientific community, NGOs, and the institutions of the United Nations, and which engendered a multitude of ideas and interesting proposals for action. A systematic analysis and evaluation of these proposals, as well as their wide dissemination, would be very useful and could serve to inspire the social policies of governments.

The international symposium at Roskilde, Denmark, which was held 2-4 March l995 - on the eve of the Social Summit - was part of this effort. One is, alas, obliged to call these contributions «peripheral», since the Summits and Conferences of the United Nations - which are undeniably important and useful - have generally failed to provide adequate communication between the groups that take part in them: governments, IGO s, NGO s, and the scientific community.

This symposium was significant on two levels. First of all, thanks to the quality of the participants and innovative character of the themes, the debates and the proposals they generated were highly interesting. Secondly, the symposium was jointly sponsored and organized by intergovernmental and scientific bodies: The «Management of Social Transformations» ( MOST ) programme of UNESCO , which initiated the meeting; the World Health Organization, including its «Healthy Cities» programme; the International Institute for Labour Studies ( IILS ) of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ); DG-XII - Science, Research and Development, of the Commission of the European Union, and in particular its programme «Targeted Socio-Economic Research» ( TSER ); ORSTOM (French Scientific Research Institute for Development and Cooperation); and the University of Roskilde.

We have deemed it useful to present a synthesis, which reflects both the richness of the debates and situates them in a larger context. It was written by Sophie Bessis, a specialist of development issues, which she studies both as a scholar and journalist. We warmly thank her for her collaboration.

    Ali Kazancigil
    Executive Secretary, MOST Director,
    Division of Social Sciences, Research and policy
    UNESCO, Paris
    October 1995


OVERVIEW

Exploring courses of action in order to go from a world characterized by the rise of social exclusion to one in which societies can regain social cohesion: such was the purpose of the international symposium held in Roskilde, Denmark, from 2 to 4 March 1995. Organized by the «Management of Social Transformations Programme» (MOST) of UNESCO, the International Institute of Labour Studies (IILS) of the ILO, the WHO, the DG-XII of the Commission of the European Union, ORSTOM, and the University of Roskilde, the symposium was convened on the eve of the World Summit on Social Development of the United Nations, in Copenhagen.

For three days the participants discussed and debated the six themes on the agenda, seeking to elaborate upon proposals liable to influence current policies of governments and to help cope with the «social question». Before reporting on these three fruitful days of discussion and debate, we will first provide an overview of the themes around which the symposium was organized.


    From social exclusion to social justice

Chaired by Dr. P.H. Jespersen of the University of Roskilde, the first session began by taking note of the aggravation, on a world scale, of social exclusion and structural unemployment, both of which have resulted in the rise of dual societies almost everywhere.

Papers presented by Louis Emmerij, a special adviser to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank; Dr. Niels Meyer of the University of Denmark in Copenhagen; and two researchers at the IILS, José de Figueiredo and Ajit Bhalla, all argued that what one continues to call the global crisis is more social in character than economic. This is expressed, in effect, by the aggravation of inequalities between different regions, as well as within countries - whether they are in the North or the South - and by the steady deterioration in the quality of life of those who find themselves excluded from organized labour markets.

What can be done to reverse this tendency and promote policies whose objective is to restore social justice? Are decision-makers really ready to commit themselves to achieving this goal? The conference participants were hardly able to answer this question, though there was a consensus that no direct causal link exists between economic growth and the solution of environmental and social problems. They also agreed that the concept of exclusion can help in under-standing the complexity of social processes currently at work through-out the world in elaborating new proposals for social policy.


    Changing ways of life and consumption patterns, in the North and the South

Chaired by Anders Hingel of the European Commission, the second session centred around the concept of «ways of life», understood in its broadest sense. Conference participants Olympe Ahlinvide of the Centre panafricain de prospective sociale in Porto Novo, Benin; Ignacy Sachs, Director of Studies at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris; and Henrique Rattner of the University of Sao Paulo emphasized that some ways of life bring about social exclusion and others are its consequence.

They insisted that the choice of a durable model of development would profoundly modify dominant ways of life and modes of consumption. In effect, such a model implies a reinforcing of citizenship and of solidarity networks, the elaboration of new approaches to work capable of satisfying needs that the market cannot meet, and a rethinking of the concepts of employment and labour. It also presupposes a redefinition of the roles played by the ensemble of economic and social actors. The participants recognized that such a model of development will not be easily accepted. They concluded, however, that only sustainable development is capable of preventing the social apartheid and ecological disasters which, if current trends hold, increasingly threaten the world.


    From welfare state to caring society

In this session, which was chaired by Ajit Bhalla, an obvious fact was noted from the outset: the welfare state, which is all but non-existent in the South, is experiencing such a deep crisis in Europe that it is inconceivable that it can be preserved in its current form. But at the same time, the free market alone proves to be incapable of reducing economic and social inequalities. What new forms of organization and action can be promoted in order that the objectives of justice and social cohesion may be obtained, both more efficiently and at less cost than the welfare state in its current form?

Dr. Laura Balbo of the University of Ferrara, Dr. Philippe Van Parijs of the Catholic University of Louvain, and Dr. Bent Greve of the University of Roskilde each advanced ideas as to how the welfare state may evolve without it having to abandon its core principles. Dr. Mahdi Elmandjra of Mohammed V University in Rabat raised questions about the possibilities of taking into account social demands in the countries of the South, given their lack of institutions devoted to maintaining a social safety net. In any case, all the participants agreed that social demands cannot be satisfied by narrow, sector-based policies and that the elaboration of more holistic strategies of development are urgently needed.


    Public and private: new modes of partnership between social actors

Finding new forms of partnership between the state, market, and the tertiary sector: this was the focus of the fourth session of the symposium, which was co-chaired by Jaques Charmes, director of the Department of Societies, Urbanization, and Development at ORSTOM in Paris, and Dr. Christian Comeliau of the Institut universitaire d'études du développement (IUED) in Geneva. Papers given by Lajos Hethy of the Hungarian Ministry of Labour and Dr. Vladimir Rukavishnikov of the Russian Academy of Sciences discussed the exorbitant cost of transitions carried out in the absence of any regulatory policy, as well as the importance of promoting dialogue and partnership between political, economic, and social actors, and reinforcing, among other things, tripartite institutions.

Trevor Hancock, a Canadian consultant in public health, Dr. Kurt Nielsen of the University of Denmark in Copenhagen, and Dr. Alberto Tarozzi of the University of Bologna observed that the longstanding conflict between the state and market is giving way to new forms of social organization that allow a greater place for local initiatives and intermediate levels of decision-making. The core debate of the session centred on the question as to how participatory democracy can be reinforced without giving in to sectoral interests and while, at the same time, preserving a certain amount of centralized decision-making authority that is necessary in every system.


    Making cities livable

Half of humanity will be city-dwellers at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In this session, which was chaired by Cees Goos of the WHO Regional Bureau for Europe, the following question was posed by Dr. Richard Knight, of the University of Genoa's Faculty of Architecture, and Jorge Wilheim, Assistant Secretary-General of HABITAT II, the United Nations conference on cities that will take place in June 1996 in Istanbul: how can the challenge of urbanization be met at a time when cities have become the centres of distorted development, exclusion, and poverty?

Making cities livable means putting in place urban development strategies that focus on the satisfaction of ever-increasing needs in the areas of employment, housing, health care, education, and preservation of the environment. As it was emphasized, this ambitious programme presupposes a political will - which is almost non- existent these days, in both the countries of the North and the South - that attaches utmost concern to remedying the urban crisis.


    From concept to action

At the end of the symposium the all-important question was asked: what is to be done? Under the chairmanship of Francine Fournier, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, the final session focused on strategies of action that could inspire decision-makers seeking to reorient their policies in the direction of durable development capable of producing the social cohesion advocated by the conference participants. Leading the discussion here was Michael Cernea, a sociologist at the World Bank, Sixto Roxas of the ONG Global Forum, and Jorge Wilheim.

While hoping that the Copenhagen summit would take their proposals into consideration, they recognized that the Roskilde debates must fit in to a larger scheme of long-term reflection and action whose goal is to make social, i.e. human, issues a priority once again in national and global strategies, which have been characterized for the past two decades by a drift towards an economism whose ravages can be easily measured.


SYNTHESIS

The Roskilde symposium may be situated in the context of the «social question,» whose re-emergence we are witnessing as the twentieth century draws to a close. Conventional wisdom used to have it that the social question belonged to the past, given both the extraordinary economic growth of the industrialized countries following the Second World War and the belief that development on a world scale would bring progress to all. This notion began to change in the 1980s, when the social question resurfaced with an unexpected vigour. Poverty, exclusion, and inequality have taken on such important dimensions everywhere that they seem, since the end of the Cold War, to be the main reasons for instability in the world. These scourges have been provoking increasingly serious political and social upheavals, which are the product of a social fabric that is being torn apart; as such, they necessitate remedies that go beyond the sort of tinkering that has been heretofore been the norm.

The seriousness of the problem explains why officials and politicians are according such importance to the social question. This is now the case on both the international level and in the majority of countries. The search for solutions to poverty is now top priority for the states of the international community. This is why the United Nations was able to organize the Copenhagen Social Summit in March 1995, which was attended by some 120 heads of state and government. This unprecedented level of interest indicates that top-level decision-makers are indeed preoccupied with the social question. It does not guarantee, however, that they will actually follow through and assign priority to the social policies they are entrusted with elaborating and putting into practice.

Situated in this context, the Roskilde symposium debates went beyond the simple observation that the world is in a state of deterioration. Differentiating itself from static approaches, which only too often limit themselves to carrying out an inventory of world poverty, the debates focused on the processes that generate poverty. Among the concepts employed in the discussions were those of social disintegration, exclusion, and pauperization. Structured around these themes and the questions they raised, the debates engendered proposals for reflection and action. They will be discussed in the following pages.


    The new international context

The world has entered into a period of transition since the 1970s, whose length is difficult to predict but which will not end, according to Jorge Wilheim 1 , for at least another two decades. The signs that old arrangements are crumbling have been multiplying for a number of years.
  • The end of a bipolar world
Symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bankruptcy of «real socialism» and collapse of the Soviet system, along with its Eastern European and tropical epigones, has illustrated the victory not only of Western democracy but of the market economy, over the competing ideologies they had to confront in the course of the twentieth century. Neo-classical liberalism, which returned to the forefront of economic thought in the early 1980s, has become the sole existing model and which all countries are expected to follow.

This triumph has inaugurated - for the first time in the history of mankind - the reign of a pensée unique - of a single, acceptable way of viewing things - in the area of economics, which is considered by its proponents as being universally valid in both its premises and applications. According to Riccardo Petrella, economics «is prompted, guided, directed by a purpose that now takes precedence over all others. It is that of competitiveness (of the short-term, commercial brand in particular) that has become the only true objective - sold, propagated and defended - of the dominant economy of the 'Norths' of the planet.» 2 It is what Mahdi Elmandjra referred to as the new dictatorship of the West over a unipolar world, which has replaced the confrontation between the Western and Soviet blocs.

  • Toward a globalized system
Another important sign of humanity's transition toward novel forms of planetary organization is the globalization - or transnationalization, as Sixto Roxas prefers to call it - of trade and economic activity. This globalization, which has come about, among other reasons, through the extraordinary development of transportation and communications technology, was accompanied and facilitated from the mid-1970s onward by an accelerated process of deregulation. The abandonment of the system of fixed exchange rates and the proliferation of Euro-currencies, the end of controls on the movement of capital, and the rise of transnational corporations have upended the bases on which the world economy had functioned up to then. Disconnected from the real economy, the sphere of high finance now possesses its own circuits: the famous financial markets in which capital is in constant search for the highest rate of return in the shortest period of time. More than one trillion dollars thus changes hands every day. This speculative capital is no longer invested in productive activities, thus contributing to the slow-down of the real economy 3 . Whether this is a passing phenomenon or a long-term trend, the end of the twentieth century is in any case characterized by the triumph of finance over production.

This evolution toward a globalized system cannot help but have an impact on the forms of political organization that have predominated throughout the world in modern times. In relativizing the notion of borders, taking away from the state some of its prerogatives and greatly reducing its margin for manoeuvre, and consecrating the reign of global enterprises, the new global system has led to a profound crisis of the nation-state, whose authority is now increasingly challenged by the world market.

The nation-state is not only weakened by the generalized competition that all economies are now subjected to; it is also contested by the resurgence of particularistic identities, which represent a negative reaction to globalization by people who mainly witness and experience its negative effects. Falling back on national, ethnic, or religious affinities, those who agitate in favour of these exasperated expressions of identity - who are often deprived of the quality of citizenship - are unable to identify with the nation-state as it now presents itself.

  • Employment and work: the end of an era
Remunerated labour has become an increasingly rare commodity throughout the world. It is estimated that the rate of world unemployment is around 30%. If the countries of the South pay the highest price in the area of unemployment and under-employment, with up to 40% of the working-age population idle in certain places, the North, with average unemployment rates of 10%, is not spared either.

The rapid population growth that the majority of developing countries have experienced - and which continues at an accelerated pace in sub-Saharan Africa and much of the Arab world - certainly helps explain this increase in the size of the labour market. But the aggravation of unemployment in the industrialized countries shows that this problem is linked less to population increase than the emergence of new technologies that require ever less manpower. What some call the «second industrial revolution» has been accompanied by gains in productivity such that it has engendered an uncoupling of the relationship between labour and production. For the second time in history, machines are replacing people and economic growth is creating ever fewer jobs.

Exclusion from organized labour markets is now one of the principle causes of poverty in the world. The growth of the informal sector, which is often viewed as an alternative to regular, salaried employment, offers to millions of people wishing to work little more than unstable, subsistence-level activities that are characterized by low productivity. The shrinking supply of real jobs has resulted in a heterogeneous labour market in which the number of irregular and poorly-paid jobs has increased dramatically 4 . It is clear that these upheavals are among the principle causes of the rise of exclusion and pauperization in the world. Given the necessity of finding alternatives to the uncoupling of the relationship between labour and production, these upheavals represent one of the most important challenges facing decision-makers as the century draws to a close.

Is it possible, without waiting for the dismantling of the old order to be completed, to shorten - or at least render more tolerable - the current period of transition, which portends such profound changes? As Louis Emmerij has insisted, it is politically and humanly irresponsible to accept the situation as it is without attempting to change it. For it not only generates instability, as one can see, it also engenders a social crisis whose extent is becoming ever more apparent.


    A global social crisis

«They didn't all die, but all were stricken.» 5

The current social crisis exists on a world scale. It spares neither the countries of the South where the immense majority of those living in absolute poverty are to be found, nor the Western, industrialized nations where a «new poverty» has appeared in the past decade, nor the ex-socialist countries - which are now paying a steep price for the speed at which they have embarked on the transition to a market economy.

  • North and South, blurred markers
The North and South continue to evolve in a differentiated manner. What is worse is that, apart from a few East and Southeast Asian «dragons» and «tigers», not only have inequalities between the North and South not become narrower but they have in fact continued to widen. If world income over the past fifty years has increased seven-fold, and income per individual three-fold, this growth has been, according to the UNDP 6 , distributed very unequally: the richest 20% of individuals in the world - who almost all live in the industrialized countries - have seen their share of the world's income go from 70% to 85% between 1960 and 1991, whereas that of the poorest 20% has gone from 2.3% to 1.4%.

Table : the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Table : the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Source : diagram adapted from UNDP 1994, op. cit.


Far from getting smaller, the gap is thus widening between the rich and poor countries, and the unequal distribution of the world's wealth is one of the principle causes of the growing social crisis.

The explanation does not stop here, however. The aggravation of poverty and inequality is a phenomenon that few countries are now spared from. Its ravages are well-known in Africa, where the fall in real income, decline in salaried employment and sharply increasing unemployment, and reduction in public spending have lowered the standard of living of a growing share of the population 7 . In Latin America the social sector has paid the heaviest price since the implementation of economic reforms. According to the World Bank, urban poverty in Latin America increased by 31% in the 1980s, and rural poverty by 18% 8. The transition toward a market economy by the ex-socialist countries has been accompanied by an aggravation of poverty and inequality of income. According to Vladimir Rukavishnikov, social polarization is one of the main results of the reforms currently underway in Russia. In 1994, the top 20% of wage earners received 51.4% of the national wage bill, as opposed to 39.9% in 1991. Likewise, the richest 20% of Russian citizens took 40% of the national income, whereas the bottom 20% only received 8%. In the industrialized Western countries - the European Union and United States - more than 15% of the population lived below the poverty line 9.

Table by Bhalla et Lapeyre : the evolution of the GNP per capita and income distribution in selected countries. Paper presented at the Roskilde Symposium, p. 17.

Table by Bhalla et Lapeyre : the evolution of the GNP per capita and income distribution in selected countries.

Sources : World Bank, Social Indicators of Development, 1994, Washington D.C., A. Boltho, Growth, income distribution and household welfare in the industrialized countries since the first oil shock, Economic Paper Series No. 26, International Child Development Centre, UNICEF, Florence, 1992 and P. Townsend, The International Analysis of Poverty, Hemel Hempstead, Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1993.


One of the most striking consequences of the transformations of the 1980s has been the emergence, throughout the world, of dual societies where great wealth rubs up against the most abject poverty. This evolution has resulted in a sort of interpenetration of the notions of North and South, which have, for some time now, ceased to refer to strictly delimited geographical areas. The ghettos of American cities and the suburbs of European metropolises, all with large numbers of immigrants, are afflicted with high rates of unemployment and functional illiteracy, and thus constitute islands of the «South» in the heart of the «North.» Likewise, the narrow strata of the privileged that one sees in many cities of the South, whose standard of living compares with that of their counterparts in the rich countries, forms an archipelago of the North in the middle of the mass misery of the South.

  • The world crisis is social
This globalization of the social crisis that has accompanied the globalization of the economy seems to have caught neo-classical economists off guard, convinced as they were that a return to economic growth and resultant large-scale job creation would keep social deterioration in check. But though the majority of industrialized countries, as well as a significant number of developing countries, have experienced economic growth in the past few years, growth now seems incapable of attenuating social problems or braking the spread of poverty. The increasingly social character of the global crisis, even with the return to economic growth, shows that there is no automatic link between the latter and the solution of social problems.

The exhumation by the neo-conservatives of the concept of «trickle down,» that was in such vogue during the 1960s, has revealed yet once more its illusory character. High economic growth has not engendered any more trickle down effect on the lower classes today than it did three decades ago. Liberal reformers at the time had concluded that only an active social policy could bring about the redistribution of the fruits of economic growth. Such a realization seems ever more indispensable today, as exclusion and poverty have reached such high levels throughout the world that they can no longer be considered as simply accidental or residual phenomena. On the contrary, they appear more and more to be a consequence of the manner in which the economic and political structure of the world currently functions. Contemporary reality shows that development involves more than simple economic growth, however necessary that may be, and that growth on its own cannot cure the planet of the many ills it suffers 10.

Such an observation has important implications. Both the generalization of the social crisis and the social character of the global crisis gives a whole new meaning today to the expression distorted development. Is the increasingly pronounced dualization of societies - which has plunged a number of them into a state of anomy - due to the fact that, as Riccardo Petrella 11 puts it, «the economy seems to have increasingly lost any sense of purpose»? In any case, it is more pertinent than ever to call into question the predominant models of development, as experience has proven that they are at the root of the exclusion that afflicts a growing portion of the world's population.

  • Exploitation and exclusion
The concept of exclusion has come into ever greater use with the deepening of the social crisis. Contrary to what occurred during the Industrial Revolution of the last century, the rich now have less and less need for the labour power of the poor. Exclusion seems to have replaced exploitation as the primary cause of poverty. The technological revolution of the past few decades - which has made knowledge an essential «raw material» for employment in new industries and has partially freed industry from its dependence on basic commodities - has brought about a twin movement toward social polarization and marginalization of disadvantaged individuals.

On a world scale, the less developed countries (LDCs) occupy an increasingly marginal place in the production of wealth and in global trade networks, and their marginalized position in the world economy has accelerated the process of pauperization of their peoples. At the current time, as Ajit Bhalla and Frédéric Lapeyre point out, globalization profits those countries that are prepared for it and marginalizes the others. In each country, unqualified job seekers are relegated to the margins of the work force; it is this exclusion from regular, salaried employment that constitutes the principle cause of their loss of social status and means of existence. Record rates of unemployment and underemployment in all parts of the globe give an idea as to the scale of social exclusion in the world today.

The two phenomena of exploitation and exclusion are not, however, totally independent of one another. Can one say, as does Philippe Van Parijs, that the successes obtained by European welfare states and trade unions in the struggle against exploitation rendered exclusion the predominant form of social injustice? The increase in the number of the excluded, who live on the margins of mainstream society, tends to confirm this hypothesis. On the other hand, the spread of exclusion throughout the world has contributed to a reinforcement of exploitation, witness the sheer number of job seekers on the labour market.

These questions regarding the respective importance of the two phenomena are not a matter of a simple quarrel among specialists. The response one gives to them generates policies that assign priority either to the struggle against exploitation or the battle against exclusion. This dilemma - and it is indeed a dilemma, according to Van Parijs - is far from being settled. One can measure the effects of this by the liveliness of the debates, both in Europe and else-where, as to whether or not priority should be given to increasing salaries or creating employment.

Formally, at least, the battle against the ever increasing scourge of exclusion has become the official priority of states. The holding of the Copenhagen summit, which has made exclusion its principle theme, is a sign of this. The reality that this now commonly-used term covers - which is sometimes used in place of poverty - remains somewhat vague, however. The participants at the Roskilde symposium attempted to identify just what is meant by exclusion, in order to outline better solutions that deal not only with the symptoms but also the root causes of the phenomenon.


    Clarifying concepts

  • Exclusion: a many-faceted phenomenon
What precisely does exclusion mean? Who is excluded? And why? How does this concept differ from that of poverty? Does exclusion refer to a problem in the distribution of wealth or a loosening in the ties that bind society together? These are some questions that will be addressed before we take on the issue of possible remedies to this planetary affliction 12.

In the first place, and as Ajit Bhalla and Frédéric Lapeyre have noted, the concept of social exclusion - which generally comes within the domain of sociology, whereas studies of poverty are usually taken up by economists - was born in Europe. This is to be explained by the sharp increase in the number of poor, whose numbers in the twelve countries of the EEC (prior to 1994) went from 38 million in 1975 to 53 million in 1992. If the concept has indeed become internationalized, it nonetheless encompasses several different syndromes.

Bhalla and Lapeyre identify three principle dimensions of exclusion. Its economic dimension is a direct producer of poverty: the excluded are, in the first place, the unemployed who find themselves entirely eliminated from the labour market and thus deprived of a regular income. Outside the sphere of salaried employment, the economically excluded are those persons or groups who are deprived of access to assets such as property or credit.

Exclusion is also social: unemployment not only deprives one of an income but also of his status in society. He is thus denied all social existence, which in most societies is directly linked to the holding of a job. As a result, the individual may lose his sense of personal dignity. Exclusion also represents, as Jacques Charmes has put it, the loss of an individual's links to mainstream society, which leads to the fraying of the social fabric and the eventual forging of solidarity ties with religious fundamentalist or mafia-type networks. In African societies, the ORSTOM researchers emphasize, the loss of social relations is seen as a much worse calamity than the reduction or loss of income.

Finally, exclusion takes on a political character when certain categories of the population - such as women, ethnic and religious minorities, or migrants - are deprived of part or all of their political and human rights.

These three dimensions manifest themselves in varying ways and depending on the social formation in question. Peoples, groups, or individuals may be pushed out of the productive sphere because they have been excluded from the environment that gives one access to it, having been deprived of education or medical care. Entire portions of a society may be excluded from the enjoyment of effective citizenship and, a fortiori, from participation in those areas where decisions are taken.

Trevor Hancock has endowed the concept of exclusion with a fourth and temporal dimension. Non-lasting modes of development, by compromising the survival of future generations, excludes them from the benefits of feasible, durable development. In bringing about exclusion today, the dominant economic logic is laying the groundwork for exclusion tomorrow.

But is the concept relevant in social formations where those who would be considered excluded in the North in fact make up the majority of the population? As Mahdi Elmandjra has asked, how should the issue of exclusion be taken on when the social norm is dictated by a minority in society? In such a case, is it reasonable to speak of the majority of the population as an excluded category? Should not one, on the contrary, ask questions as to the inclusion in society of minorities living a Western life style? Assuming that the term is relevant in all places, exclusion conjures up the word «integration» more than it does «poverty.» Though exclusion and poverty often intersect, they are not synonymous terms and the latter deserves to be clarified.

  • What kinds of poverty?
Poverty is also a complex notion. It is indeed the consequence of insufficient income that prevents the poor from satisfying their basic needs and deprives them of access to a certain number of services such as health care and education. As Figueiredo, Lachaud, and Rodgers remind us, poverty is intimately linked to the condition of the labour market 13. One must also distinguish the two faces of work-related poverty: that which ensues from exploitation within the labour market, of the nature of the work itself, and the income it generates; and that which is linked to exclusion from the labour market, i.e. unemployment, whether declared or not.

Poverty is one of the factors contributing to exclusion but does not necessarily bring it about. In a number of countries in the South, as an ORSTOM report emphasizes, «the poor remain incorporated within family and extra-family networks of social protection and mutual assistance,» and that «this incorporation produces integration and not exclusion.» 14. In a number of countries the rupture of community and family-based solidarity networks is an important factor pushing individuals below what is commonly referred to as the poverty line. This is the case in the United States, and in a number of countries in Latin America and the Maghreb, where single-parent families headed by women are among the poorest. Poverty is also a consequence of a series of political and social exclusions. For example, discrimination based on gender or membership in a minority group increases the risks of poverty for a marginalized category of the population.

Finally, it refers to a series of notions that are by nature subjective, such as need, inequality, or privation. As Bhalla and Lapeyre insist, such notions cannot be evaluated in simple material terms. Society's perception of poverty, for example, is not the same in a poor country as in a rich one. Is it possible to settle the issue by defining a minimum income below which an individual will be regarded as poor?

If an analysis of poverty and the policies designed to combat it may be based on obvious facts such as its close relationship with income levels, the market, or the nature of work, it thus appears equally obvious that different categories of the poor do not require the same treatment in order to improve their condition.

  • The choice of indicators
The complexity of reality poses the all-important question as to the choice of indicators capable of apprehending and measuring phenomena that do not boil down to their material dimension. How much weight should be assigned to qualitative evaluation and how much to quantification? Put another way, how should measurement and evaluation be balanced? This represents a strategic area for research, insofar as indicators have a normative and determining value for policy. Those who judge the state of world according to the fluctuations of the stock market and interest rates do not see it the same way as those who judge it by the health of its population or environmental costs of economic growth.

But quantitative and purely economic indicators such as GNP whose inadequacy has been abundantly criticized for a number of years now, die hard and have only been partially unseated by more precise evaluations of the state of a society. The indicator of human development elaborated by the UNDP - which attempts, among other things, to correct the rigidity of GNP in emphasizing purchasing power parities in its calculation of real income - is one of the efforts made at perfecting the analysis in question. But it is deemed too reductionist by numerous researchers, who criticize the use of an artificial indicator in order to comprehend a complex reality.

For example, what is the best manner in which to measure the incidence of poverty? The Inter-American Development Bank has attempted in a recent study to define the dimensions of the problem in Latin America 15. What criteria of well-being should be adopted to define poverty, disposable income, social income - i.e., access to basic services such as health care, education, drinking water, etc. -and indicators of the quality of life, to name a few? Who exactly is poor and what is the extent of the scale of poverty among those poor? Limiting the analysis to the poverty line may make it so that the number of poor varies greatly, which may have a direct impact on the amount of public resources consecrated to fighting poverty.

In point of fact, what is measured implicitly anticipates the policy framework that is eventually put in place. It is therefore necessary, as Ignacy Sachs advocates, to decide on the objective before selecting a method of measurement and evaluation. The preliminary questions as to the choice of any indicator should be: «What development, for whom and within what institutional structures? What place should having and being have in them?» 16 If the social aspect of development becomes a priority for policy - thus reversing the drift toward the economism of recent decades -, social accounting will have to take the place of the economic accounting that currently guides development strategies. Indicators that allow one to work toward a development centred on human beings should, to use Sachs's expression, open the way for the construction of an «anthropological economy», far removed from today's «quantitative economy».

The clarification of the concepts one uses is thus of primary importance. It constitutes a prior condition for the definition of priorities, courses of action, and actors to be implicated in social development policy. If the symposium participants engaged in a rigorous exploration of the notions of poverty and exclusion, they did not, however, extend their investigation to other terms that are also omnipresent in social science discourse. One may also regret, along with Barbara Harrell-Bond, that they frequently invoked the concept of civil society, without, however, attempting to define its contours. Can civil society be understood simply as the increasingly dense galaxy of non-governmental organizations? Do these organizations - which have not been adequately analyzed - constitute the ultimate expression of civil society? Turning to another question, the concept of modernity - which Laura Balbo sees as the horizon for new sociological thinking - would also benefit from greater analysis, so as to avoid misunder-standings that arise from its all too frequent utilization.

It is nonetheless the case that poverty and exclusion are the principle manifestations of the social crisis that we have attempted to analyze here.


    Factors and manifestations of the social crisis

  • The dictatorship of the economy
The official health of a country is measured by its economic indicators: GNP, balance of payments, budget deficit, exports, market shares, and so on. As one knows, these sorts of indicators are the only variables taken into account for judging the progress of nations. More seriously yet, the economy - i.e., the art of administering the household, or the City, according to the Ancients - is nowadays reduced to only one of its dimensions: the market. This deviation in economic analysis may be illustrated, according to researchers at the IUED 17 by an «approach toward the merchant economy rather than a general approach toward the problems of economies». This lacuna is aggravated «by a frequent inversion of priorities between means and objectives, which makes the survival of an economic system an end in itself, whereas it can only be justified insofar as it is an instrument satisfying the needs of people». Dominant economic thought is concerned only with numbers and hardly at all with human beings; Richard Knight summed it up by observing that «though economists may know the price of something they don't know the value of anything.»

This dictatorship of the economy has reached the point of caricature with the implementation, since the beginning of the 1980s, of structural adjustment programmes in developing countries with heavy burdens of external debt. Their one and only goal being the restoration of financial equilibrium in the concerned states, these structural adjustment programmes have, in almost all analyses carried out up to now, resulted in a deterioration of the social situation of the most vulnerable sectors of the population in these countries. These programmes have been accompanied by a reduction in the portion of wages as a percentage of national income, an increase in inequality, decreasing job security, a rise in unemployment, and the disengagement of the state from the social sector; as the Inter-American Development Bank has observed, structural adjustment has sacrificed social progress in favour of financial equilibrium. Almost every Latin American country experienced a drop in per capita GNP in the course of the 1980s. In sub-Saharan Africa per capita public spending declined during this period in two-thirds of the nineteen countries for which data is available 18. Governmental officials and financial backers do not hesitate, however, to speak of an improvement in those countries where social problems have become worse. Structural adjustment programmes have, in fact, quickly ceased being a simple ensemble of measures designed to restore a minimum of financial discipline in the indebted countries. They have been rapidly transformed into instruments of macro- economic policy whose objective is to make the entire planet submit to the dominant economic norm.

Sixto Roxas, in telling the story of this deviation, feels that since the nineteenth century Western civilization has made the market and its self-regulating capacity the basis for democracy, the liberal state itself being the creation of this market. The key to this system, which was at one time called into question with the development of the Keynesian welfare state, resides in the assertion that the laws which govern the market are of the same order as the universal laws of physics. It is therefore to be understood that a major characteristic of dominant economic thinking is that it considers itself to be scientifically based and universally valid. This gives it, in the words of Ignacy Sachs, «an ahistoric and atopic character 19.» One must attempt to understand, says Roxas, why the market has progressively occupied the totality of the economic terrain and how an economic theory has been able to transform itself into a dominant ideology. Such is the case today. Thanks to a powerful network structured by international financial institutions, and those issuing from Bretton Woods in particular, the dominant economic order is in the process of establishing a global hegemony of such omnipotence that one may truly speak of our epoch as the civilization of the market, or of enterprise.

The result of such an evolution is that, in Petrella's words, competitiveness «is no longer a means; it has become the prime objective not just of enterprises but also of the state and society as a whole 20.» But when the survival of a group, state, or society is supposed to be subject to competitiveness, the world enters into a logic of war, as the Other - the competitor - becomes a source of danger. Petrella agrees with Roxas in asserting that private enterprise is in the process of shaping the values of our times by fixing the rules of the game, not only for itself but also for the state and the whole of society. The constraint of the dominant economism is now such that states are enjoined to run themselves like private firms, whereas the latter take on an increasing number of prerogatives that were once in the exclusive domain of the state.

Basic to such logic is that the gains in productivity resulting from technological innovation are regarded as progress, and that employment does not have the status as a key variable in development strategies. Worsening unemployment is thus the price that has to be paid for increasing competitiveness, which is seen as the precondition for collective survival. As long as the dynamic of unemployment is not replaced by a dynamic of employment, the link between production and labour will become even looser. The economy will thus, as Sachs maintains, continue to produce more exclusion.

The social crisis, which has now become the norm, is thus due in large part to the fact that «development strategies proposed and followed up to now are defined essentially in economic terms and hardly give any thought to their consequences, either on the nature of social relations or on the general viability of the societies that they affect 21

Disregarding the plural nature of humanity, the pensée unique thus promotes the fiction of a single, global society that is liable to be driven toward progress by submitting itself to a single model. In this vision of the world, crises in the model are little more than chance mishaps.

  • The crisis of the state
The Western European welfare state took on a certain regulatory mission at its inception and which was perfected over time. This is now under assault from both globalization and the dictatorship of the market. In the course of this century Europe created two forms of the welfare state. The first developed in the authoritarian frame-work of the Eastern bloc dictatorships and which broke down with the collapse of communism. The second, which took root in the democratic part of the continent and under the leadership of social democracy, is now revealing its limits and showing obvious signs of exhaustion. The Keynesian welfare state was born out of the contention that the market could not be the economy's sole regulatory mechanism. Based on a minimum of societal consensus that was hammered out following decades of working class struggle, as Henri Rattner reminded us in order to emphasize the fact that social progress has always had to be fought for, the welfare state's mission has been to redistribute more equitably the fruits of economic growth. The welfare state has long been able to confine the operation of the market within well defined parameters, through legislation, taxation, public spending, and in instituting a mixed economy in which the state has often played a leading role. It is thus logical that the welfare state should be going through rocky times, given the current supremacy of the market over the ensemble of economic, political, and social actors.

But what are the real causes of its present malady? Is this due to the fact that, as Bent Greve and Louis Emmerij advance, the Keynesian model of the welfare state is based on full employment? Is it the victim of the very institutions it created, which have engendered oversized bureaucracies and an excessive centralization of decision-making? The economic crisis, which has diminished public resources and tax receipts across Europe, and the privatization of large portions of public sectors under the pressure of the market, have in any case posed in brutal fashion the problem of how the welfare state is now to be financed. Less well endowed and more spendthrift than in the past, the state has proved to be incapable of financing the social equity that it has long enjoined itself to do. This has, among other things, caused it to lose the legitimacy that its regulatory function has conferred upon it.

The most spectacular consequence of this exhaustion throughout the industrialized world is the cutting back of social programmes and the rise of insecurity. Some observers indeed do not hesitate to see in these phenomena the signs of a rupture in the social contract upon which the modern development of European societies has been based. The European welfare state is certainly not dead, nor have the factors that brought it into being disappeared. But it is now caught between the cross pressures of globalization, on the one hand, and the emergence of new regional and local dynamics - themselves the fruit of globalization -, on the other. It is between these two frontiers that the welfare state must henceforth restore its prerogatives and freedom of action.

The welfare state will have to redefine its role and attributes. If this exercise seems achievable in the older, industrialized countries, it is considerably less certain in the countries of the South where veritable welfare states have never existed. As Mahdi Elmandjra points out, state-building in the South is a relatively recent phenomenon and is far from being completed; these states thus possess neither the structures nor the resources that could permit them to insure a sufficient level of social protection. The weakness or absence al-together of social policy in the South may thus be explained by the embryonic character of state-building in that part of the world. This is aggravated, as ORSTOM reminds us, by the privatization of state functions, which results in forms of regulation that are «clientelistic, rentier, and repressive» in character. Such traits are prevalent in the countries of the South. On the other hand, and as has already been mentioned, traditional solidarity ties do in part make up for this absence of the state. But traditional structures are also subject to the multiple shock effects of modernization, which reduces their efficacy, when it does not lead to their outright disappearance.

The crisis in the South is thus not one of the welfare state. But this does not mean that it is any less serious. In many countries of the South, as Jorge Wilheim notes, the state is in the process of disintegration. He attributes the proliferation of NGOs to this decay of the state, as they constitute a partial response to the increasingly flagrant absence of public authority. The latter, given its lack of means in many countries, no longer carries out the regulatory and «stately» tasks that theoretically constitute the essence of its mission.

The question as to how one defines the role and functions of the state is thus not of the same order in the countries of the North and the South. Can the latter embark on the road to a society that takes charge of its destiny by skipping over the stage of the welfare state? Mahdi Elmandjra does not think so, considering that in the absence of an institutional network capable of promoting social progress, the LDC's will require the active intervention of the state, whose legitimacy will have to be based on reconstruction with the establishment of democracy. An impossible wager? Not necessarily, deems Ignacy Sachs, for whom welfare-type states can be built in the South at much less cost than their full-fledged counterparts in the industrialized world, insofar as the low cost of labour may also constitute a comparative advantage in the area of social programmes. The experiences of countries such as China, Cuba, and Sri Lanka have shown that relatively modest levels of investment can produce spectacular results in the social domain. Sachs thus reckons that one may invest efficiently in health care and education without a massive transfer of funds from the North to the South.

One may nonetheless deplore, as does Jorge Wilheim, the fact that the scholars and specialists at the Roskilde symposium spent little time exploring the question of democracy in the South, giving priority instead to the search for new ways in which to dynamize the welfare state in the North and better enable society to take control of its destiny.

If nothing is done to limit the deviant drift of the market and find new forms of regulation, one runs the very real risk of seeing - in both the North and the South - the proliferation of «two-speed» societies, as well as the generalization of a sort of social apartheid which is already the lot of numerous countries in the South.

  • Capital-cities of misery
It is in the large cities that this «apartheid» is the most visible today, where it arises out of a spatial segregation that creates veritable borders inside urban areas. Poverty is becoming an increasingly urban phenomenon. It was estimated in 1990 that 600 million of the 1.4 billion city-dwellers of the South were living in conditions that directly threatened their health and survival. Half of the poor in Latin America today live in cities, estimates the Inter-American Development Bank. The poor sections of cities throughout the world - in the rich countries: suburbs or inner cities neglected by the public authorities and populated mainly by foreigners or ethnic minorities; in the LCD's: shantytowns devoid of infrastructure and inhabited by recent rural migrants, who often make up a major part of the urban population in these countries - are living proof that distorted development has become a global phenomenon.

But urbanization has continued apace and at an accelerated rhythm. In the year 2000, a full half of humanity, i.e. 3.2 billion persons, will live in cities. In the period 1980-2000, the number of city-dwellers in the South will have doubled, going from one to two billion. A second doubling will come about in the 25 years to follow, which will bring the total number to four billion 22.

Though the number of rural poor has not diminished and misery remains the lot of the majority of those living in the countryside in much of the world, particularly in the Sahel and South Asia, the social crisis today is increasingly urban in character. The urbanization of poverty ranks among the principle factors of social and political instability in the world. This is the reason why a world summit centring on cities will be organized by the United Nations in 1996. In order that it yield concrete results, it will have to tackle the many roots of urban poverty.

The manifestations of the global social crisis, as we have seen, are now too numerous to ignore. To do away with exclusion and attempt to construct more socially cohesive societies is nonetheless a vast undertaking and whose implementation will necessitate a profound change in the economic and political logic that have brought about the current situation.


    From social exclusion to social cohesion

  • Some conditions for change
In the view of increasing numbers of researchers, the economistic drift, the supremacy of exchange value over the notion of use value, the running of the planet according to the sole criterion of the profitability of enterprises, and the extension of the cash nexus to the ensemble of human activity are in the process of pushing humanity into an impasse. The IUED's report reminds us that the imposition of the market as the sole and indisputable reference for development policies has led to a disregard of collective needs not linked to the market, the waste of finite resources, and the exclusion from the benefits of growth of a larger and larger portion of the world's population.

The calling into question of economism and the return to a holistic conception of development - which breaks with the excessive sectoralization that has prevailed over the decades - thus appears as a precondition for any enterprise wishing to base change on the primacy of social policy. This demarch is also a matter of principle insists Alberto Tarozzi, who notes that neo-classical liberalism is characterized by the will to deprive social regulation of any moral basis; to assert the demand for a social development that includes everyone consists of conferring an ethical dimension upon the concept of development.

It is in fact essential, as Ignacy Sachs asserts, to endow meaning on this durable development - of which so much has been said since the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992 - and to recall that it is a multidimensional concept which can only be realized through an approach «where the social is in control, the ecological is an accepted constraint and the economic is reduced to its instrumental role 23.» This new value system, in which economic efficiency would cease to be measured according the sole criterion of the profitability of enterprises and instead according to the satisfaction of social needs, is the only one, according to Sachs, that is capable of being universally operational while at the same time respecting the diversity of humanity.

If one were to put an end to the hegemonic status of dominant economic thinking - where LCD's are expected to mimic the experiences of the industrialized countries - and give primacy to social policy, it would become possible for development strategies to take into account the twin character of the human condition, which is both universal and - depending on the country and culture - specific in nature. The principle of universality would, to use Mahdi Elmandjra's expression, finally cease being synonymous with Western ethnocentrism, which has unilaterally decided to endow its model with universal value.

It is not possible to ensure the primacy of the social side of development without reference to politics. The continued aggravation of inequality illustrates, in effect, the political dimension of the social issue and demolishes the myth of the neutrality of the state, which, according to the nature of the policies carried out and power relationships in the system, may be either an agent for integration or a force for exclusion. But the ability of the state to engender exclusion has been reinforced in recent years by its near wholesale adoption of neo-classical economic policies, whose one and only goal is to create a favourable environment for the flourishing of free enterprise.

There are two political aspects to the social issue. As Henrique Rattner emphasizes, it poses the problem as to the legitimacy of policies that have led to a cutting back of the welfare state in Europe, as well as of the struggles that various societal categories have led in order to have their rights recognized. The social issue also impinges on politics, according to the IUED's report, insofar as all processes of ordering a society's priorities is political by its very nature, as it must take into account conflicting interests between different groups and social classes. The elaboration of a development strategy that accords primacy to social policy must therefore be accompanied by the building of a political and social base, which is essential in order for the strategy to be carried out.

The rejection of the dictatorship of economism will lead the world into adopting a different economic logic. The certainty according to which the market economy must be considered as the norm for scientifically rational decision-making will be succeeded by a holistic conception of development from which the political dimension will not be able to be excluded. The logic of short-run thinking, upon which the search for profits is based, will be succeeded by the notion of a societal project implying long-term reflection as to the ultimate aims of development. The idea according to which the general interest is simply the sum total of particularistic interests, which can be satisfied by the play of market forces, will be replaced by both an analysis of possible ways to meet the aspirations of different social categories and the translation of choices decided upon into priorities for action.

This ambitious programme poses the question as to the modalities of change as much as it does that of ultimate aims. The scholars and specialists gathered at Roskilde were in agreement that the debate over means is as important as the identification of ends.

  • What is to be changed?
How does one go from a logic of economic growth to a logic of social development? Here is a vast area open to reflection and action. Adopting more ecologically sensitive life styles, redefining the role of the state, strengthening the ties that bind society together in order to bring about lasting social cohesion, giving new meaning to democracy: these are the principle paths toward the sort of change capable of rendering to humanity - at the end of the shortest transition period possible - a more livable world.
  • Changing ways of life
Here again, the simplicity of the formulation somewhat obscures the complexity of the problems that this objective implies. How does a way of life, which cannot be reduced to mere consumption patterns, evolve? What are its determinants? What are, as Bent Greve asked, the possible material and symbolic motivations capable of inciting a given society to change its way of life? What are the links between ways of life and exclusion? Some ways of life, as one knows, bring about exclusion whereas others, such as survival strategies by society's poorest, are its consequence. What are the obstacles that are sufficiently formidable so as to hinder progress?

Regardless of how one answers these questions the case remains that change in ways of life is at the heart of the problem of durable development. This change poses the crucial problem of the forging of a new relationship between the North and South that is based on the recognition of planetary solidarity. It is, in the first place, a matter of sharing in a less unequal manner the use of finite natural resources and the fruits of global growth, which one now knows will be slower than in the past and more constrained by ecological considerations. If one takes as a starting point the hypothesis, which is taken up by Louis Emmerij, that growth in consumption by the poorest is a condition of their well-being, should one henceforth set aside for them the benefits of growth?

Is the latter idea even compatible with the notion of durable development? No, replies Nick Meyer, for whom the available ecological space can no longer produce growth for all and must be reserved for the LCD's, the rich countries having already largely abused the planet's resources. Sachs asserted in return that the demand for durable development does not put an end to economic growth, as energy and other material factors of production contain many potential sources for increased productivity that have yet to be exploited. He nonetheless endorses the idea that the societies of the North restrain their levels of consumption in order that the enrichment of some does not bring about the impoverishment of others, and thus lead to globalization of social apartheid.

As a number of symposium participants pointed out, however, the beneficiaries of the current system are nonetheless sufficiently numerous and powerful to prevent the changes that the international community recognized as necessary at the Rio summit. It does not bear repeating, for example, that nearly all industrial firms would like to continue externalizing the social and environmental costs of an economic growth that generates less and less social progress. Only the internalization of these costs will put an end to environmental and human waste that characterizes the logic of the dominant mode of production. How can alternative modes of production implying the development of more economical ways of life be fostered when it is known, as Dupont and Rattner remind us, that powerful lobbies - particularly in the energy sector - have no interest in promoting alternative technologies, and that the much talked about cultural imperialism conceals a technological domination, which is less often mentioned.

This is why Rattner insists on the need to identify with precision the global actors who seem to have so much power, to better discern their interests, and explore their cognitive structure in order to understand the vision they have of the world which they are in the process of shaping. The problem of conflicting interests and of the political stakes linked to change has thus been posed yet again, as well as the identification of forces liable to promote it. In an increasingly interdependent world it is, moreover, indispensable to plan for the creation of international regulatory organisms, without, however, downplaying the importance of the role played by the nation-state.

  • Redefining the roles of the state
Two observations may be made here. On the one hand, as under-scored by Ignacy Sachs, it must be recognized that the debate has been off track for many years. The issue is not one of setting the state against the market, as partisans of the welfare state have long tended to do, but rather to remember that the self-regulating market has shown its limits and that it is necessary to restore the regulatory function of the state. In the North as in the South, the latter still has a major role to play as an agency of regulation, definition, and implementation of development policies. Whatever the need to involve all partners in the drawing up of a new social contract, macroeconomic policies will continue to have an important impact - positive or negative according to whether or not the state plays an integrative role - on poverty and exclusion. This impact will be felt by the means of taxation, interest rates, and levels of public spending in sectors such as housing, health care, and education.

What will perhaps be regarded as Europe's most positive contribution of the twentieth century is its invention of a state capable of remedying serious social inequality, redistributing the fruits of growth and innovation, and able to counterbalance the perverse effects of the unbridled market. One should thus not advocate a «smaller state,» as partisans of neo-classical liberalism do, but rather a «better state,» which presupposes a redefinition of its modes of operation and relations with the ensemble of economic and social actors. It is in any case illusory to think that the European welfare state can continue to exist without some fundamental changes, Alberto Tarrozzi considers, seeing that even in its heyday it never really succeeded in reaching either the poorest strata, the most backward regions, or groups experiencing specific problems. While reasserting the necessity of its continued existence, the manner in which society is organized must be thought through afresh. This implies, according to Laura Balbo, calling into question the bureaucratic and centralized character of the state. The state must be transformed so that its principle function is not so much to protect society as it is to lead the way and, while providing services, create a context that will narrow social cleavages and allow society to take charge of its destiny.

  • Mending the social fabric
Though few people today contest the need to mend the social fabric, this does not mean that there exists a consensus as to how to go about doing it. What is the scale at which the search for social cohesion should be envisaged? At the local level, where one runs the risk of sacrificing the general interest in favour of sectoral interests? At the national or regional level, at the risk of forgetting about the need to instill a sense of global solidarity?

The debate over the minimum income has given an idea as to the complexity of the question. Niels Meyer and Philip Van Parijs have advocated the adoption of a minimum level of remuneration for everyone, which is to be understood as the right to an income for the whole of the citizenry. For Meyer, the generalization of a guaranteed salary should be able to be obtained by a policy of work-sharing; Van Parijs, on the other hands, promotes the idea of a dissociation between work and income, the right to the latter not having to depend on the holding of a job. The latter idea, which is certainly generous, would nonetheless be difficult to implement. Louis Emmerij asked if this is economically feasible and insisted, along with Bent Greve, on the difficulties of financing such an enterprise. José Figueredo, for his part, wondered about the effectiveness of a minimum salary taken as a means of combating exclusion, when it is known that exclusion results not only from a lack of income.

But, above all, who should be able to benefit from this? Should a minimum income be implemented everywhere in the world or can it only be realized in countries where the state theoretically has the means to finance it? In the latter case, can one speak about the struggle against exclusion if the majority of the world's population does not take part in such a redistributive scheme? Several participants insisted on the need to think about these issues on a world scale and not to sacrifice, once again, the countries of the South on the alter of the well-being of the societies of the North. For one should not have any illusions here, as Jean-Luc Dubois maintained: if a minimum income were implemented in the rich countries, it would be, at least in part, financed by a reduction in development aid geared to the countries of the South. The countries of the North indeed have a duty to combat exclusion at home, but they should not do so by penalizing the LCD's.

Mending the social fabric where it has frayed under the combined effects of the crisis, liberalization policies, and urbanization demands serious reflection on a series of complementary actions. Legislation in the areas of labour and social protection throughout the world have been developed in relationship to the dominant model of salaried employment. But, as the above-cited ORSTOM report points out, «not only does the wage-earning sector still absorb a minority of individuals in every developing country, but it is also declining under the effect of increasing unemployment and the growth of the informal sector on the fringes of the state». It is thus urgent that new forms of social protection be developed in these countries that will benefit the non-salaried population.

Given that the globalization of the economy is an important factor explaining exclusion in the poorest countries and among the most defenseless categories throughout the world, economic policies in a number of countries should be reconsidered, with a view toward reducing the priority accorded to exports and giving preference once again to the internal market. By reassigning the notion of territory to the core of economic policy, which has been globally-centred for the past two decades, the construction of veritable internal markets on the national, regional, and local levels would encourage the creation of economic «space» that would both satisfy domestic demand and help produce solidarity ties that are currently non-existent.

If it is agreed that one must explore all avenues capable of curing the social ills currently afflicting the world, work-sharing seems to be one essential route to take. For work, as we have seen, does not only generate income. It is also, as Niels Meyer notes, a primordial component of social existence, insofar as men need to be part of a «community of work» in order to feel that they are contributing something to the life of the collectively. Since the world today is producing more and with less labour, and since growth no longer creates employment, it is essential, Louis Emmerij insists, that the labour market be restructured in order to take into account the gains in productivity engendered by technological innovation. Decision-makers must stop viewing unemployment as an inevitability, Ignacy Sachs contends, and start implementing vigorous employment policies, whose foundations are work-sharing and job creation in the heretofore neglected social domain.

Mending the social fabric is especially urgent, as the health of democracy depends on it. The rise of totalitarian temptations driven by ultra-nationalistic myths - which frequently seduce collectivizes that have descended into a state of social anomie - is sufficient testimony that the absence of social cohesion can pose a serious danger for democracy. For, as Ajit Bhalla reminds us, democracy can hardly have substance if the majority of the population lives in a state of exclusion and spends most of its energy struggling to survive. In advancing the axiom of the recognition of dignity and of basic rights for all, the IUED's report asserts that social development by its very nature situates democracy at the heart of the debate.

  • Giving new meaning to democracy
Democracy, such as it as has been conceptualized and realized up to now, finds itself hemmed in by two borders whose rigidity is undermining its very principles. Strictly confined to the political arena, on the one hand, democracy has never been extended to the economic and social terrain, which are, however, vital spheres of human activity. Narrowly representative, on the other hand, it has remained a democracy by delegation, having neglected to explore mechanisms whereby the whole of the citizenry may directly participate in the making and execution of decisions. In order to be meaningful once again, democracy needs to recreate itself by opening up to the ensemble of social actors, to develop new forms of partnership, to break with centralism, and to take into account the various possible levels of decision-making involving citizen participation.

To go from a model where the state is seen as the sole agent of social change toward a perspective where the actors play a determining role in change is not utopian, according to Laura Balbo; it is a condition that must be fulfilled in order to allow society to take greater charge of its destiny in a world where the various agencies of power - state or community - no longer assume the functions of real and symbolic protection of the population, which used to be among their attributes. The necessary evolution toward societies that take greater responsibility for their destinies necessitates a redefinition of the relationship between the principle social partners, the state, market, and civil society.

An indispensable actor in economic and social life, as history has shown, the market cannot be the sole agency that regulates social relations. The past few decades have proven this. Generally speaking, private initiative, whether it comes from the market or elsewhere, cannot substitute for the state, which the whole of society needs for its role as an arbitrator. This is especially so since, contrary to dominant tendency of recent years, associations issuing from civil society - that some have idealized - are more subject than one may think to the logic of self-interest. Many «popular initiatives,» as ORSTOM notes, are not as spontaneous as they may seem. As for associations in the countries of the South, they often «conceal strategies for cornering international aid» and turn it «into major tools of self-aggrandizement and self-promotion» 24 ; in the North, associations do not always escape the logic of the cash nexus or of political instrumentalization. One must also ask how representative many NGOs really are, particularly given that many proclaim themselves to be the spokesmen of a civil society that is often silent and which did not necessary designate them.

What forms of partnership should be invented in order to allow the ensemble of social actors to play a role, and to harmonize public policy and citizen action? Can the tripartite negotiating approach, which inspired the creation of the ILO and remains a means of bargaining between trade unions and the state in many countries, still play a role?

The Hungarian experience, described by Lajos Hethy, shows the advantages and limitations of this. Hungary, he explains, is a country where political and social stability quickly appeared as an important stake in the context of an accelerated transition - with all the consequences that implied - toward a market economy. As the trade unions had not lost their character as mass organizations, negotiations were able to take place with business associations and the state in order to reach agreements over labour legislation, the regulation of salaries and the right to strike, the share contributed by business for social protection schemes, and so on. Even better, tripartite dialogue enabled the trade unions to take part in the formulation of public policy and demonstrated that this form of organization contributes in large part to maintenance of social peace. As Hethy warned, however, in the absence of a veritable social policy the search for an accord with the trade unions may be a simple means to get the population to accept the negative effects of the transition, without its modalities or goals being discussed.

If the principle of tripartite bargaining is to maintain its value, it must be adapted to the evolution of civil society and enlarged in order to incorporate the ensemble of social partners, including representatives of the excluded, who are often ignored by traditional trade union structures. Dialogue must in all cases be extended to the making of economic policy, in which the every citizen takes part.

At what level should decisions concerning a given collectivity be taken? This is a crucial question for democracy, which, in order to cease being merely representative and to take on a participatory dynamic, must take into account the need to differentiate levels of decision-making and to increase the power of local authorities. Allowing democratic local structures to intervene in the decision-making process presupposes the recognition of the diversity of circumstances, needs, and actors. It is to recognize that there exists no single solution that can resolve the problems of a pluralistic world.

What should the modalities of this recognition be? Can decision-making function according to the principle of subsidiarity, as Sixto Roxas proposes, where the international community is considered as a vast community of communities? To reorganize democratically a world that is characterized by the tradition of a centralized nation-state, the dilution of responsibilities on the international level, and the silence of local actors, it seems necessary to reflect on new relationships between the local, national, international, and global levels. The increase in the number of actors involved in defining policy, which has been a positive development, does not, however, mean that one has to respond to every single demand. Rather, as the IUED report proposes, it is a matter of building an institutional body capable of arbitrating conflicts between contradictory interests and to solicit the participation of different levels of decision-making in the definition of collective goals; in other words, of reconciliating local action and global thinking. The objective is ambitious insofar as up to now, as Ajit Bhalla reminds us, competition is often the rule in the relationship between different decision-making levels; for Bhalla, what is needed is to go from a logic of competition to one of complementarity. One of the solutions, according to Henri Rattner, would perhaps be to define the level of centralization that all modern societies need.

One of the routes toward more participatory societies may involve, as Trevor Hancock proposes, ceasing to talk only in terms of the satisfaction of the needs of the communities concerned and to take into account their non-utilized capacities. Linking up needs and capacity would allow for the resolution of a considerable number of problems at the local level, Hancock continued, basing his argument partly on the experience of participatory health care structures in Canada.

Generally speaking, the recognition of the plurality of contexts, of the right of all to participation, and the multiplication of decision-making levels implies the decompartmentalization of different levels of knowledge, by creating passageways between popular knowledge, scientific knowledge, and scholasty knowledge. For, as Richard Knight notes, the priority accorded to elitist knowledge in nearly all national policies has deprived humanity of a good part of its savoir-faire. «Ninety percent of human knowledge today has been produced over the past thirty years», Knight asserts. «But if one defines knowledge as the ability to survive on earth in a lasting manner, then 90% of human knowledge has been lost in the past thirty years». Such a decompartmentalization is not impossible, as Kurt Nielsen showed in pointing to the Danish experience in this area. The promotion of popular knowledge and it being linked up with academic knowledge has in part, according to Nielsen, enabled Denmark to prevent the technostructure from entirely running the country.

The question over whether or not democracy is a precondition or a result of development has been long debated, though without any conclusion being arrived at. It is clear that a society where survival is the sole objective of the majority of the population can hardly produce anything more than the facade of democracy. Socially-oriented development, for its part, will call for the enlarging of the domain covered by democracy, which will eradicate at the same time one of the major forms of exclusion: political exclusion.


    From reflection to action: some pathways

  • Rehabilitating the social sciences
Putting people at the centre of development is not only a slogan. Abundant experience has shown that models that do not emanate from the actors themselves collide with the internal logic of the development process. In spite of this obvious fact, the demand for sociological-type knowledge is tragically weak, Michael Cernea laments 25, and almost no development agency has felt the need to include social scientists at decision-making levels. To justify this attitude, development agencies invoke the high cost of social scientific studies, without ever evaluating the cost of errors committed when an action is taken without any knowledge of the social formations that are affected.

In fact, the social sciences up to now have served as a reservoir of information and statistics for economic decision-makers won over to the «theology of the market», to use Cernea's expression. The order of priorities should be changed in order that social policy be accorded the status it should never have lost, thus integrating sociologists into all levels of reflection and decision-making on matters relating to social change.

Taking note of this deficiency should be cause for reflection on the part of academics. Perhaps they are partly responsible for their absence from decision-making circuits, Cernea considers, insofar as they have rarely attempted to link up their research with the real world of policy. If they wish to participate in the development and implementation of development policies, academics will have to do more than just analyze but also get directly involved in action and share the risks.

Research must furthermore, deems Tarozzi, set new priorities that take into account the evolution of the contemporary world, as well as the obstacles to change. Since it is thus impossible to extend the Western-style welfare state to the entire world, given its exorbitant environmental, economic, and social costs, it is urgent that durable development strategies be seriously reflected upon, which could in return benefit the developed countries. This proposal is especially relevant, as it was clear that, throughout the Roskilde symposium, the debate was focused mainly on the problems of the North; the participants seemed to have difficulty developing new ways of thinking about North-South relations and the possible solutions to global inequalities. The discussions around the welfare state and the guaranteed minimum income gave an idea as to the extent of this difficulty. The globalization of social problems and the relative interpenetration of the North and South indeed allow one to think globally more than before. But if one is not careful this global thinking could once again take on the thinking of the developed North.

Reflection for action must, in any case, be the objective of social science if it wants to be a full partner in the construction of to- morrow's world.

  • Reforming the international community
A redefinition of the respective roles of social actors, which takes into account both the effects of globalization and demands for action on the social front, presupposes new forms of political and economic regulation on the international level. This implies a profound reform of the United Nations and the organizations issuing from Bretton Woods.

These institutions, Sixto Roxas reminds us, were created not only to safeguard the hegemony of the dominant economic order but were also designed to respond to the specific functional needs of the developed capitalist countries. The effort to internationalize this «recipe», to impose a model that is being increasingly called into question, leads to the conclusion that the rich countries deny the world's pluralistic character. Seen from the angle of social development, it becomes apparent that the entire edifice of development aid needs to be recast, as Habiba Wassef emphasizes. The United Nations system must, for its part, begin to adapt its modes of intervention to the evolution in priorities, by participating more than it currently does in the dynamics of change. International aid donors should be more respectful of diversity and democracy, Habiba Wassef admonished, as well as more attentive to points of view and approaches it has long neglected to hear. Wassef continued by saying that these aid donors should stop trying to impose their views and ways of doing things on public authorities in the LCD's, who often operate under domestic constraints and are frequently more knowledgeable about the needs of their own societies.

The reform of the international system must put an end to the monopoly of interstate organizations and allow for the emergence of democratically-oriented global organizations with powers of oversight and of putting forth proposals. Such are the stakes, according to the World Alliance Against Social Apartheid, which endorses the creation of a global organization of citizen representation in order to facilitate, among other things, the equitable participation of all the world's inhabitants in the management of global affairs.

  • Developing new forms of partnership
Such an enterprise could be based on a series of acts that have been undertaken in many countries, such as the experiences of community management of health care that has been successfully tried in Canada, or the European Healthy Cities network that has been progressively put in place since 1986 under the aegis of the WHO.

The Canadian experience, Trevor Hancock points out, could only have been carried out by replacing the sectoral approach to dealing with health care issues with a global vision of the context in which the problems were situated. Income inequality, social stratification, and the condition of the environment are major factors impacting on health care and help explain why «inequalities» in illness have not disappeared from societies where all the basic needs of the population are supposed to have been satisfied. In order to involve the whole of the population in resolving its health care problems, a community-type approach based on local action has been taken, which has led to the creation of health care councils in a number of Canadian cities. The activities of these councils includes the discussion of problems, development of solutions, and the collecting and dissemination of ideas that help groups of citizens take their own initiative. Round-tables organized by the councils do not necessarily produce consensus and often reflect conflicts of interest between different categories of citizens, Hancock made clear; citizen action has, however, reinforced their ability to influence municipal health care policies.

Though not taking on the same form, the Healthy Cities network, which groups together more than thirty European cities, is inspired by the same methods. It attempts to act in all domains having an impact on health care, such as housing, transport, and the environment, and to encourage decision-makers to take into account the consequences of their policies on the health care sector as a whole. The WHO has also innovated in expanding its working relationships beyond just urban administrations, to include a number of organisms and associations liable to play a role in urban health and sanitation policies.

Other experiences could also inspire the search for new forms of partnership between social actors, capable of alleviating the deficiencies of the state and of finally giving a real social content to municipal democracy.

  • Favouring access to employment
Given that exclusion from the world of work is one of the principle causes of poverty and marginalization, it is urgent to replace the current dynamics responsible for unemployment with an active job creation policy. This policy should have two components.

The first consists of acting directly upon the job market through voluntaristic policies. Without detailing the modalities, one may specify two types of proposals liable to put a brake on the dynamics that generate unemployment. José Figueredo and Zafar Shaheed propose, among other things, the inflicting of financial penalties on firms that resort too often to layoffs 26. The fines thus collected could be used to finance unemployment insurance programmes, pension funds, or action - in the educational sector, for example - aiming to help non-qualified job seekers find employment. In the same vein, financial-type incentives (subsidies, tax rebates, etc.) can be envisaged for employers with active hiring policies. Sachs reckons that many countries could solve a part of the huge problem of rural under-employment by adopting policies designed to increase rural, non-agricultural employment. This would, among other things, increase the supply of services to underdeveloped regions. In the urban areas, the creation of social service-type jobs involving immediate contact with the population, which are practically non-existent in the North as well as in the South, would help alleviate the pressure on the labour market.

The second component of this active job creation policy consists, strictly speaking, of acting upstream on the job market. One is aware of the extent to which illiteracy, lack of skills, and/or member-ship in a minority group suffering discrimination bars hundreds of millions of individuals from access to visible, paid employment. Only strategies whose objective is to remove their handicaps can enable the most deprived and vulnerable groups to acquire the tools that are indispensable for obtaining remunerative employment. With this perspective in mind, the areas of health care, education, and elimination of discrimination based on cultural prejudices must be regarded as priorities for action. Such action is especially necessary since it alone can help girls and women escape the exclusion of which so many of them are victims. From this angle, Richard Anker integrates family planning and day care policies into the struggle against labour market exclusion 27.

But the symposium participants spent little time discussing the issue of gender discrimination, or the fact that the overwhelming majority of women are confined to the sphere of non-remunerative domestic labour, which is relegated everywhere to the category of household tasks or the so-called family economy. The debates over the extension of democracy and on the link between work and social status - between exclusion from the job market, on the one hand, and poverty, on the other - showed that the gender dimension of social exclusion was not taken into account at the Roskilde symposium. Mere support for dynamic education and training policies, including civic education, can nonetheless help remove one of the major handicaps that women suffer from in a large number of countries.

The cost of these programmes, which is often invoked as an obstacle to their realization, poses fewer problems than is generally believed. It is certainly important to carry out studies of each potential programme to determine their compatibility with sound macroeconomic policies and to strive for the best ratio between cost, efficiency, and equity. But without even quantifying the political and financial price of social exclusion, the sums - which are often considerable, at least in the countries of the North - currently earmarked toward minimizing these scourges could be converted into actions that generate social cohesion.

  • Redistributing assets
Action that is taken upstream in the area of employment policy must go beyond the satisfaction of simple social needs. Given that the unequal distribution of wealth and of factors of production are among the principle causes of exclusion, it is equally necessary to act by the means of a policy of redistributing assets. The Inter-American Development Bank thus deems it indispensable to carry out important agrarian reforms in most Latin American countries, where the extreme concentration of landed property is one of the leading causes of rural unemployment and migration to the urban areas. Democratization of access to credit must be an equal part of a policy of redistributing assets, in the same way as fiscal reforms that lighten the tax burden on labour and increase it on capital and income gained from speculative activities.

Indispensable for reducing the inequalities that are found in all countries, such reforms cannot, however, have an impact on the unequal distribution of the world's wealth. It would seem necessary to introduce a system of international taxation in order to bring about more equitable distribution. Such a system of taxation would raise significant financial resources that could be devoted to social development. At the Rio summit, for example, the institution of a tax on energy consumption - the famous «ecotax» - was envisaged, though immediately buried under the pressure of the United States, the big oil companies, and hydrocarbon exporting countries. The explosive growth of speculative capital in recent years has popularized the idea of creating a tax - the Tobin tax, named after the Nobel Prize winning economist who conceptualized it - on profits gained from speculative activity. Yet again, numerous voices have been raised against such a tax, all in the name of the sacrosanctity of the self-regulating market. But such resistance to the inauguration of international taxation should not prevent the continued study of such a system, nor of efforts to put it into action.

We have only touched upon here the numerous ways one can redistribute national and global assets in order to benefit the disadvantaged. It is important to insist that such policies are not utopian in character but are rather indispensable in getting at the root causes of the world's social crisis.

  • Urban policies
Within just a few years the majority of the planet's inhabitants will reside in cities. If urban growth occurred at a more or less gradual pace in the course of history, its current development is such that it needs to be subject to planning and control. As the world social crisis is increasingly urban in character it has become urgent to develop policies and tools capable of resolving it, while taking into account the diversity of contexts and situations.

Cities have always been centres of culture, contact, and of immense opportunities for human creativity. We have to insure that they continue to fulfill these functions, Jorge Wilheim pleaded. But can we truly label as «cities» the urban agglomerations which are inhabited by so many recent arrivals from the countryside? How should we manage the phenomenon, widespread in the South, of «rurbanization,» to use the term coined by sociologists? So many questions, which remind us of the urgency in developing veritable urban policies adapted to contemporary change.

Global reform aiming to reverse the dynamics that create poverty and exclusion is an immense undertaking, to say the least. The debates at the Roskilde symposium sought to underscore the need to modify the existing order of priorities and to forge, on a global scale, a durable development based on people rather than on things.

A nostalgic attempt to recover a long lost social harmony and rejection of an evolution regarded as inevitable by its defenders? Certainly not. The defense of another type of development, that is both durable and social in character, is not, as some claim, a negative reaction to the shock effects of modernity. On the contrary, it is a fight for modernity, as Sixto Roxas maintains. In creating the crisis and revealing itself incapable of improving the condition of the whole of humanity, the current economic and political systems, as well as the technologies upon which they are based, have shown their obsolescence. The only way to prepare for the twenty-first century will be to challenge the validity of the current systems and develop alternatives, which will be capable of closing the fault lines that coming tremors in the world order promise to breach. That is to say, to enable all of humanity to feel part of global society, with equal opportunity to live in dignity.

It is nonetheless not at all clear that the world is embarking on this route. In organizing, since the beginning of the 1990s i.e. since the end of the geopolitical polarization brought about by the Cold War, a series of international conferences and summits with the goal of sketching out a «new world order,» the United Nations has indeed attempted to enlist the international community in the search for solutions to the various aspects of the crisis. But parallel to this is the consolidation of another very real order, based on the resort to force and the simple logic of narrow national interest. The limits of Copenhagen summit's timid and half-way resolutions, which contrasted sharply with the hopes raised by its convening, show that, for the moment, the obstacles to the forging of planetary society based on a democracy with a strong social character have yet to be lifted.

(Translated from French by Arun Kapil)


APPENDIX
List of participants

Peder AGGAR. Professor. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Olympe AHLINVIDE. Professor. Centre Panafricain de Prospective Sociale. Porto Novo, Benin.

Peter ALTHEID. Professor. Sociologist. Centre for Advanced Technologies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Helle Mukerji ANDERSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

John ANDERSEN. Centre on Integration and Social Differentiation. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Maj-Britt ASLUND. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Maria Inacia d'AVILA NETO. Professor. UNESCO Chair for Durable Development. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Henrik BAK. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Laura BALBO. Professor. Institute of Philosophy. University of Ferrara, Italy.

Tania BARROS DE FREITAS MACIEL. Professor. University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brian BARTON. Department of Economics. University of Quebec at Trois Rivières, Canada.

Maria Durvalina BASTOS. Professor. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Anna BOESEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Simon BOLWIG. Centre for Development Research. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Thomas P. BOJE. Professor. Department of Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Karin BRÿNNUM. Centre on Integration and Social Differentiation. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ajit BHALLA. ILO. International Institute of Labour Studies. Geneva, Switzerland.

Luc CAMBREZY. ORSTOM. Paris, France.

Michael CERNEA. Sociologist. Senior Adviser. World Bank. Washington, DC, USA.

Jacques CHARMES. Associate Director. Department of Societies, Urbanization, and Development. ORSTOM. Paris, France.

Christian COMELIAU. Professor. Institut Universitaire d'Etudes du Développement. Geneva, Switzerland.

Ann-Marie CONNOLLY. WHO. Regional Bureau for Europe, «Healthy Cities.» Copenhagen, Denmark.

Georges COURADE. ORSTOM. Paris, France.

CZESKLEBA-DUPONT. Department of Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Anna DAM. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Valerie DENTEN. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Faith DUBE. AIESEC. Centre on Integration and Social Differentiation. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jean-Luc DUBOIS. ORSTOM. Paris, France.

Mahdi ELMANDJRA. Professor. Mohammed V University. Rabat, Morocco.

Louis EMMERIJ. Special Adviser to the President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Washington, DC, USA.

Martin FABIANSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

José B. de FIGUEIREDO. ILO International Institute of Labour Studies. Geneva, Switzerland.

Francine FOURNIER. UNESCO. Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences. Paris, France.

Genoveva Maya FRUET. International Programme for Development Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Benoit GAILLY. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Sergio GOEZ Y PALOMA. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Maria de Fatima GOMES. Professor. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Cees GOOS. WHO. Interim Director, Regional Bureau for Europe. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Bent GREVE. Professor. Department of Social Sciences. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Simon GROTH. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Trevor HANCOCK. Consultant in public health. Ontario, Canada.

Bente HALKIER. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Andreas Wester HANSEN. Department of Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Birgitte Steen HANSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Jette HANSEN. Geography and Communication. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Barbara HARRELL-BOND. Director. Programme for the Study of Refugees. Oxford University, Great Britain.

Lajos HETHY. Secretary of State, Ministry of Labour. Budapest, Hungary.

Anders HINGEL. European Commission. DG-XII. Brussels, Belgium.

Mogens HOLM. Centre for Development Research. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Helge HVID. Professor. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Erling JELSØE. Professor. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Per Homann JESPERSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Peter JOENSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Douglas JOHNSON. Johnson International. Hvidovre, Denmark.

Wambui KAMARA. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Geogre KATROUGALOS. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Ali KAZANCIGIL. UNESCO. Director, Division of Social Sciences, Research and Policy. Executive Secretary, MOST Programme. Paris, France.

Kristine Vik KLEFFEL. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Richard KNIGHT. Professor. Faculty of Architecture. University of Genoa, Italy.

Jesper LASSEN. ,Professor. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Nina LAURITZEN. Centre for African Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Albert LEE. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Casper LITTRUP. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Thomas LØVSHOLT. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Maj MANCZAK. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Pietro P. MASINA. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Martino MAZZONIS. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Niels I. MEYER. Professor. Department of Physics. Technical University of Denmark. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Troels MIKKELSEN. Department of Administration. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Inge-Lise NIELSEN. Teacher. JÊgerspris, Denmark.

Kurt Aagaard NIELSEN. Professor. Department of Sociology. University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

John NKINYANGI. UNESCO. Division of the Social Sciences, Research, and Policy. MOST Programme. Paris, France.

Lene OKHOLM. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

José Vilhena de PAIVA. Vice-Rector, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Philippe van PARIJS. Professor. Faculty of Economics, Politics, and Social Sciences. Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Anne Sprog¯e PETERSEN. HIB II. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Gert PETERSEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

K ° are PETERSEN. Department of Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Patoommat PHANCHANA. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Louise PIHL. Institute of Political Science. University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Maya PINTO. University of Bath, Great Britain.

Aurora PUCCIO. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Henrique RATTNER. Director, Programme on the Environment and Durable Development. University of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Sixto K. ROXAS. Foundation of Community Organization and Management Technology (FCOMT). Quezon City, Philippines.

Marianne ROY. University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.

Vladimir RUKAVISHNIKOV. Professor. Institute of Political and Social Research. Academy of Sciences. Moscow, Russia.

Ignacy SACHS. Director of Studies. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Paris, France.

Inaki Heras SAIZARBITORIA. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Antonella SANTORSOLA. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Peter SCHÖNHÖFFER. Pax Christi. Münster, Germany.

Karen Prochnow SLETTEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Inger STAUNING. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Sunniva ØVERLAND. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Francesca TAMBORINNI. European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Alberto TAROZZI. Professor. Department of Sociology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

François VEDELAGO. Institut Michel de Montaigne. University of Bordeaux-III, France.

Habiba H. WASSEF. WHO. Geneva, Switzerland.

WEI Li . European Programme on Society, Science, and Technology. University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Jorge WILHEIM. Assistant Secretary-General. HABITAT II. Nairobi, Kenya.

Jacob YTTESEN. Department of the Environment, Technology, and Social Studies. University of Roskilde, Denmark.


NOTES

1. When the words of the participants cited are taken from their conference paper or remarks made during the debates, no bibliographic reference is specified.

2. Riccardo Petrella: «Europe Between Competitive Innovation and a New Social Contract,» International Social Science Journal, N°. 143 (March 1995): p. 11.

3. Ignacy Sachs : Searching for New Development Strategies: The Challenges of the Social Summit, MOST Policy Papers N°1 (Paris: UNESCO, 1995).

4. See J. Figueiredo, J.P. Lachaud and G. Rogers, «Poverty and Labour Markets in Developing Countries», in New Approaches to Poverty Analysis and Policy, vol. 2 (Geneva: International Institute of Labour Studies, 1995).

5. La Fontaine: «Animals Ill with the Plague». Fables.

6. UNDP: World Report on Human Development (1994).

7. See Poverty, Unemployment and Exclusion in the Countries of the South: Reflections from the Royaumont Seminar as a Contribution to the Work of the World Summit on Social Development (Paris: ORSTOM, 1995)

8. Statistics cited by the Inter-American Development Bank, in Social Tension and Social Reform, (Washington: January 1995).

9. UNDP,1994.

10. See Sachs, Searching for New Development Strategies, op. cit.

11. Petrella, "Europe Between Competitive Innovation and a new Social Contract", op. cit., p. 11.

12. G. Rodgers, et al, Social Exclusion: Rhetoric Relaity, Responses (Geneva, International Institute of Labour Studies, 1995).

13. Figueiredo, et al, "Poverty and Labour Markets in Developing Countries…", op. cit.

14. Poverty, Unemployment and Exclusion in the Countries of the South, op. cit., p. 7.

15. Inter-American Development Bank, Social Tension and Social Reform, op. cit.

16. Ignacy Sachs, "The Quantitative and Qualitative Measurement of Development: Its Implications and Limitations," International Social Science Journal, no. 143 (March 1995): p. 5.

17. Institut Universitaire d'Etudes du Développement «Pour un développement social différent, recherche d'une méthode d'approche.» Report of a working group in view of the social sommit of Copenhagen (Geneva: IUED, 1995).

18. See Rolph van der Hoeven, «Structural Adjustment, Poverty and Macro-Economic Policy,» in New Approaches to Poverty Analysis and Policy, vol. 3 (Geneva: International Institute of Labour Studies, 1995).

19. Sachs , Searching for New Development Strategies, op. cit. p. 25.

20. Petrella, "Europe Between Competitive Innovation . . .", op. cit., p. 11

21. IUED, "Pour un développement social différent …", op. cit.

22. Figures cited by Céline Sachs-Jeantet, Managing Social Transformations in Cities: A Challenge to Social Sciences, MOST Discussion Paper Series, no. 2 (Paris: UNESCO, 1995).

23. Sachs , Searching for New Development Strategies, op. cit. p. 27.

24. Poverty, Unemployment and Exclusion in the Countries of the South, op. cit., p. 15.

25. Michael M. Cernea, Sociological Work Within a Development Agency: Experiences in the World Bank, August 1993.

26. See New Approaches to Poverty Analysis and Policy, vol. 2, op. cit.

27. See Richard Anker, «Labour Market Policies: Vulnerable Groups and Poverty,» in New Approaches to Poverty Analysis and Policy, vol. 2, op. cit.


The need for a form of social accounting

The choice of qualitative and quantitative indicators depends on the underlying assumptions, the goals pursued and the standards of value, whether universal or local, that are adopted at the societal level. The advantage of quantitative indicators is that they determine simple thresholds, are easy to use, and give credibility to the results obtained. Yet, qualitative indicators take far greater account of the complexity of local situations. In fact, a large number of quantitative indicators (for example indicators of social destructuring such as suicide, theft, delinquency etc.) may be presented quantitatively. Furthermore, any work relying on quantitative indicators needs to be illuminated by qualitative analyses that reflect the complexity of the situations examined.

Social indicators have to be formulated at distinct scales reflecting accurately social organization and economic structuring. These indicators willbe macro-economic and macro-social, meso-economic relating to communities (obtained through community inquiries) and social groups (notably the target groups of social policy), and micro-economic (relating to households and individuals). We have to go beyond external descriptive indicators (such as school enrolment rates) and incorporate indicators that measure mechanisms such as those by which skills are transmitted. The definition of target groups needs to be refined since each category covers a wide range of concrete situations requiring responses that are tailor suited to each case. Policies of integration involve families, but the observation of such a unit is a particularly sensitive task. Family cycles need to be observed, for domestic situations are particularly complex in conditions of precariousness.

A distinction needs to be made between the use of synthetic indicators such as the HDI (Human Development Index, calculated by the UNDP) and the use of a variety of simple indicators. Synthetic indicators, because of the weighting operations required as far as each simple component is concerned, are theoretically unstable. Indeed, any change in the weighting system alters the value of the indicator concerned and softens its contribution to multidimensionality. Besides, the number of simple indicators may soon become too great for being of any use in decision-making. It is therefore necessary to establish a hierarchy of indicators and define priorities in terms of the goals pursued.

In order to prepare the indicators required, it is therefore necessary to identify explicitly objectives by considering the various aspects of poverty in its spatial/temporal dimension as a function of the fields of study and sectors that are deemed to be social or to have a high social impact. Insofar as indicators are useful instruments for keeping track of social life, they need to be elaborated and, simultaneously, integrated into a methodological framework that endows them with maximal coherence. In this context, social accounting should become the counterpart of economic accounting and facilitate a comprehensive follow-up of the situation.

ORSTOM, op. cit.


The attitude of survival in a declared context of inevitable economic war

With the extent (and acceleration) of the transformations linked to the scientific and technological changes to which industries, organizations and countries are "subjected" in an increasingly vast, worldwide and hence harder-to-manage context, the feeling of being up against a process of permanent destabilization in an environment of grooving uncertainty and hostility is becoming widespread.

That being so, we have the impression of being caught up in an attitude of survival for survival's sake (remain in the market; keep our job and what goes with it; prevent the foreign competitor or just the immigrant from taking our place). "The other" immediately becomes suspect as a potential source of destabilization, hence the threat to our survival, even in the deepest recesses of our identity.

Having the most efficient and cheapest tool that meets the needs of the richest, most solvent markets becomes, in this context, the best means of ensuring (micro) survival. Salvation lies in the tool! Innovation on and by the tool and competitiveness in and by the price and quality (defined in technical and financial terms) of the tools emerge as the only effective and apparently legitimate regulators of the war of survival.

The prevailing thinking on innovation and the obsessive cult of competitiveness have had a big hand in developing and spreading this "survival psychosis" and "war culture". The values emphasized by the theorists and practitioners of innovation and globalization through competitiveness are values centring on power (financial in particular), force (idea of conquest and mastery), struggle (to which the inevitable instances of co-operation between individuals, organizations and countries must also be subjected), aggressiveness and cynicism (mors tua vita mea). Admittedly, one could say that there is apparently nothing new on the scene of human history and societies. Yet there is something new in that, for the first time, such an attitude has assumed a worldwide, global dimension, that of the totality of human history, in a context of real potentiality, on the one hand, and of the total self-destruction of human society (as a result of nuclear energy) and of the general manipulation of the living (with the new advances of genetic engineering), on the other.

Being regarded as the principal force in technological, industrial and economic innovation on which the future of a city, a region or a country depends, and as the only organization capable of "managing" the globalization of the economy, the enterprise is becoming the force which makes culture, i.e. which shapes the value systems of a society and an era and fixes the rules of the game and the way in which the world economy is to be steered and managed with the backing of the State and of all the public authorities (local, national and international). There are compelling interests on either side in favour of the alliance.

From one OECD country to another, in different forms, the same logic thus operates, with available resources being mobilized for the sake of the short- and medium-term commercial success of "national" enterprises, particularly the strongest, the "winner" in the world markets. What we have is a massive transfer of public resources in favour of private enterprise, mainly multi-national, to enable them to stay competitive in the most profitable solvent markets.

The enterprise is acquiring a new historical legitimacy inasmuch as it has been vested by the State with the function of defending. and promoting the well-being of the "local" society, while ensuring its own success on the world scene. In the face of the "world" society, it claims an additional legitimacy by presenting itself as the only organization capable of guaranteeing, at the world level, the best management of available material and non-material resources. In so doing, the enterprise privatizes and internationalizes for its own purposes the social role of the State. In addition, it does so repeatedly, in each of the countries where it can lay claim to a predominant place in the local landscape. What is more, and failing a world State, it also privatizes the function of organizing the world economy.

Riccardo Petrella, op. cit.


About the author

Sophie Bessis specializes in the political economy of development. She holds an agrégation in history and teaches at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), in Paris. Also a journalist, she has been associated for ten years with the weekly Jeune Afrique and now collaborates with several newspapers and journals, both in France and abroad. She has written on issues relating to development, North-South relations, and the Maghreb. Her recent works are La faim dans le monde (Paris: La Découverte, 1991) and Les enfants du Sahel (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1992).


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