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Good Country / Good Society: Can We Have both?

February 24, 2021 @ 11:00 am

So much effort has been put into learning how to build societies that enjoy domestic peace, prosperity and justice, but much less into building a better-functioning and fairer global society. Yet in our age of advanced globalisation, no nation is an island, unconnected to the rest of humanity and the planet: and countries that treat their own citizens well whilst harming the citizens of other countries deserve our condemnation, not our praise. Equally, a country that takes care of its own slice of territory but pollutes the air and the oceans or ships its garbage and its hydrocarbons elsewhere, should be called out, not held up as a model state. What Simon Anholt calls a “Good Country” – one that successfully harmonises its domestic and international responsibilities – is surely the gold standard for good governance in the 21st century and beyond. We discuss how feasible it is for countries, both rich and poor, to manage this tricky task in practice. Is it always a matter of difficult compromises, or could thinking more internationally actually produce better policy outcomes at home?
Our panelists are:
Simon Anholt, Independent Policy Advisor to the Heads of State and Governments of 57 Countries
Uffe Elbæk, Member of the Danish Parliament for the Independent Greens
Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, Deputy Secretary General, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2008-2014

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