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Processes that are taking place at the beginning of the 21st century make the creation of a new social contract absolutely essential, from the viewpoint of higher education. The Magna Charta Universitatum issued in 1988 by the rectors of the European universities and the World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-first Century (UNESCO 1998) already recognized this fact. Tendencies well known and foreseeable at the end of the 20th century continued in a surprisingly accelerated form. The present European higher education reform is one of the possible ways to the creation of such a new social contract. In 2008 it became clear that the economic and financial crisis leads to a whole new situation. The future of universities could finally be interpreted and handled according to global interconnections. Practicing academic moral solidarity can help the world of universities survive the crisis without major damage. At the same time the social responsibility of universities includes assisting the world to get past the global economic crisis.

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Contract . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. MacNeil I. The New Social Contract 1980

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different from the methods of science – is to draw people’s attention to the three following thematic questions: – what does it mean to be human (learning and experiencing our own nature), – working out the principles of a “new social contract” (with

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science (Lubchenco's “Entering the century of the environment: a new social contract for science” or Kates’ et al. “Sustainability science”); and political science (Hajer's “Politics of environmental discourse” or Dryzek's “Environmental discourses

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