Perspectives on Global Development 2012
Hide / Show Abstract

Perspectives on Global Development 2012

Social Cohesion in a Shifting World

"Shifting wealth" – a process that started in the 1990s and took off in the 2000s – has led to a completely new geography of growth driven by the economic rise of large developing countries, in particular China and India. The resulting re-configuration of the global economy will shape the political, economic and social agendas of international development as those of the converging and poor countries for the years to come.

This report analyses the impact of "Shifting wealth" on social cohesion, largely focusing on high-growth converging countries. A "cohesive" society works towards the well-being of all its members, creates a sense of belonging and fights against the marginalization within and between different groups of societies. The question this report asks is how does the structural transformation in converging economies affect their "social fabric", their sense of belonging or put generally their ability to peacefully manage collective action problems.

Recent events in well performing countries in the Arab world but also beyond such as in Thailand, China and India seem to suggest that economic growth, rising fiscal resources and improvements in education are not sufficient  to create cohesion; governments need to address social deficits and actively promote social cohesion if long-term development is to be sustainable.   

Click to Access: 
Publication Date :
21 Nov 2011
DOI :
10.1787/persp_glob_dev-2012-en
 
Chapter
 

Shifting Wealth: A Window of Opportunity You do not have access to this content

Click to Access: 
Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
31–50
DOI :
10.1787/persp_glob_dev-2012-5-en

Hide / Show Abstract

While it is a potential challenge to social cohesion, the shift in the centre of economic gravity from west to east – shifting wealth – also opens a window of opportunity for more inclusive development and stronger social cohesion. The financial and economic crisis has, if anything, further accelerated the ongoing structural transformation where emerging and developing economies recovered more rapidly to pre-crisis levels of economic activity compared to advanced economies. The process of shifting wealth made available a greater range and amount of resources, e.g. larger fiscal revenues, higher export earnings, the continuing build-up of foreign exchange reserves and rents from natural resources. Policies are crucial for the financial sustainability of social protection programmes in a context where gains are potentially volatile and, in some cases, dependent on non-renewable resources (subject to depletion and exhaustion).
Also available in: French