Does the Twenty-First Century Need a New Social Contract?

Richard Haass and Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics, assess the future of the labor market and examine how to provide workers with the skills and training they need in an era of ongoing technological change.

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  • Richard Haass
    President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
Episode Guests
  • Minouche Shafik
    Director, London School of Economics and Political Science

Show Notes

About This Episode


How can countries rightsize the role of government in modern economies? Will the social contract evolve as the nature of work changes? In this episode of Nine Questions for the World, Richard Haass and Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, talk about the future of the labor market and discuss how to give workers the skills they need amid nonstop technological change. 


This podcast series was originally presented as “The 21st Century World: Big Challenges and Big Ideas,” an event series in celebration of CFR’s centennial. This episode is based on a live event that took place on July 15, 2021.


See the corresponding video here.


Dig Deeper


From Minouche Shafik


What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract for a Better Society,” Princeton University Press


From CFR 


Anshu Siripurapu, “Is Industrial Policy Making a Comeback?” 


Melanne Verveer, “Gendered Disinformation, Democracy, and the Need for a New Digital Social Contract” 


A. Michael Spence, “Beyond Unemployment” 


Read More


Veena Dubal and Juliet B. Schor, “Gig Workers Are Employees. Start Treating Them That Way.,” New York Times


Gerald F. Seib, “Revolutionary Change or Practical Help? Democrats Struggle With the Difference,” Wall Street Journal 


Henry Mance, “Minouche Shafik: ‘I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room’,” Financial Times


Watch and Listen


Should Central Banks Be Responsible for Saving the World?,” Stephanomics 


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Richard Haass and Stanford University Professor Fei-Fei Li discuss how to contend with technologies that can do both good and harm.

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Richard Haass and Margaret MacMillan, one of the world’s foremost historians, discuss how best to apply history to better understand current global challenges, including the erosion of democracy, the rise of China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.


Richard Haass and Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Institute, discuss the future of biotechnology and its potential impact on food production, climate change, energy production, and medicine.

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