Societies in crisis: coronavirus epidemic underlines the need to refresh the social contract between government and the people

The neoliberal order – of which many in Asia, including Hong Kong, are believers – is founded on free markets and an important social contract: that the state and market will take care of citizens. But the coronavirus epidemic has raised doubts about whether such a social contract works as promised.Eighteenth-century French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau is most associated with the idea of a social contract, in which the individual agrees to submit to the authority of the state in exchange…

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