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Equality and Personal Responsibility in the New Social Contract

Amir Paz-Fuchs
Publication date: 
Tue, 28 Apr 2009

In this report and series of policy briefs, leading political scientists and policymakers examine the role of personal responsibility in creating the conditions necessary to achieve equality of opportunity.
Should personal circumstance and behaviour be a determinant in the allocation of resources or should the welfare state be blind to all but individual need? Is the notion of contract a valid one when applied to welfare relationships, and how far should our conception of responsibility extend into the realms of education and health policy?

In his inaugural address, US President Barack Obama declared the need for ’a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world.