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September 2020 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Live Session: Aspirations for the New Social Contract

Towards a New Social Contract

Inspired by Danielle Allen's paper which articulated what should be the broad objectives of any legitimate constitutional democracy, and proposed a principle of association as an alternative to our current system's reliance on an ancient and long-lived principle of alienation as at the core of penality, participants discussed their own hopes for a new social contract.

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Danielle Allen Harvard University

How can we contribute to a new kind of policy conversation that sees justice as intimately tied to reducing poverty and increasing mobility? What can we learn from countries whose social policies and welfare states provide a stronger guarantee of a livable wage, employment protections, healthcare, and other quality of life securities than in the United States? How can adjacent sectors better contribute to social integration and wellbeing, and extract themselves from the impact of the criminal justice system to ensure all people have full access to housing, education, and healthcare? How does the U.S. regime of political rights currently compromise or promote community membership? Building on a series of Roundtable explorations of these questions, this culminating convening examined aspirations for those adjacent institutions and policy domains, including the electoral system, healthcare, housing, education, and anti-poverty policy; and will reimagine a social contract that serves, empowers, and strengthens the safety and well-being of all