Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

A Manifesto for Social Progress
Ideas for a Better Society


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108440929

£ 14.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • At this time when many have lost hope amidst conflicts, terrorism, environmental destruction, economic inequality and the breakdown of democracy, this beautifully written book outlines how to rethink and reform our key institutions - markets, corporations, welfare policies, democratic processes and transnational governance - to create better societies based on core principles of human dignity, sustainability, and justice. This new vision is based on the findings of over 300 social scientists involved in the collaborative, interdisciplinary International Panel on Social Progress. Relying on state-of-the-art scholarship, these social scientists reviewed the desirability and possibility of all relevant forms of long-term social change, explored current challenges, and synthesized their knowledge on the principles, possibilities, and methods for improving the main institutions of modern societies. Their common finding is that a better society is indeed possible, its contours can be broadly described, and all we need is to gather forces toward realizing this vision.

    • Based on collaborative research by over 300 social scientists focusing together on how to promote social progress
    • Offers a new vision to rethink and reform key social institutions to create better societies based on human dignity, sustainability, and justice
    • Provides motivation and concrete actions for promoting positive social change
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A Manifesto for Social Progress is a loud cry in favor of human dignity, irrespective of gender, race, religion, education, talent, and productive abilities. No cause is more important than social justice is for a better future of humanity, nor is there a better attempt to tackle the problem head-on than this book.' Ahmed Galal, Former Minister of Finance, Egypt

    'This is a most remarkable and dearly needed book. Its analysis of the current predicament of modern society is as sharp as its vision for overcoming the paradoxes and dilemmas is powerful. It carefully balances the pitfalls, dangers, and opportunities of the current state of global economic and political affairs, and imaginatively opens up routes for a future world which is at once more just, more democratic and more sustainable. A must read!' Hartmut Rosa, Chair for Sociology and Social Theory, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

    'This book lucidly articulates that social progress is not a given. It emerges from the genuine recognition of our limitations, the importance of our instincts for inclusion as citizens, and our audacity to imagine a better future for all. The book also challenges us to integrate participatory processes in our interactions and decisions with a clear vision and a strategy for a desired transformation for the wellbeing of all in a sustainable planet.' Youba Sokona, IPCC Vice-Chair

    'Filled with stimulating intellectual reflections and deep analytical insights, this book offers us a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the manifold, mutually interdependent social processes in an increasingly globalized world. It not only addresses the many Janus faces of the evolution of contemporary societies but also provides us with crucial elements for a vision of our social future in an 'emancipating state'.' Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General, Volkswagen Foundation

    'Analyses of society have been marked by pessimism and resignation for many years now. This book is refreshingly optimistic, and above all, realistic.' Maurizio Ferraris, University of Turin

    'Is there reasonable hope for a sustainably generalizable and better way of life on earth, despite the mind-boggling challenges human progress has brought upon itself? Yes, there is - rooted in an impressive and unprecedented multidisciplinary enterprise, this little book proves it.' Philippe Van Parijs, Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, Université catholique de Louvain

    'Better is always possible: this is the vision of the authors of this book, and it is also the vision of our government. The book's focus on well-being and freedom, fairness, diversity and inclusion, as well as transparency and engagement provides a strong ethical and practical foundation for that vision. I commend the authors for their book's demonstration of how social science can serve the common good, and how, together, hope and hard work can lead to a better world.' The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Quebec

    'Reading the book feels like finding a large flashlight after endless days of stumbling around in a dark cave.' Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade (

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108440929
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 53 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the future is in our hands
    Part I. Much to Worry, Reasons for Hope:
    1. Looming catastrophes
    2. Globalization and technology: choices and contingencies
    3. The expanding circle of respect and dignity
    4. The big challenge
    Part II. Acting for Social Progress:
    5. In search of a new 'third way'
    6. Reforming capitalism
    7. From the welfare state to the emancipating state
    8. From polaritics to politics
    Conclusion: mobilizing change-makers.

  • Author

    Marc Fleurbaey, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Marc Fleurbaey is an economist, professor at Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School and Center for Human Values) and member of Collège d'Etudes Mondiales (Paris FMSH). He is the co-author of Beyond GDP (with Didier Blanchet, 2013), A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (with François Maniquet, Cambridge, 2011), and the author of Fairness, Responsibility and Welfare (2008). He was a coordinating lead author for the IPCC 5th Report, and one of the initiators of the International Panel on Social Progress. He is also a member of the UN Committee on Development Policy, and of the Council for Global Problem-Solving.


    Olivier Bouin, RFIEA
    Olivier Bouin is an economist, director of the Réseau français des instituts d'études avancées (RFIEA) foundation that supports Institutes for Advanced Study worldwide and former director of the Collège d'Etudes Mondiales (Paris). He is the co-editor of Europe's Crises (with Manuel Castells et al, 2017) and the co-author of Economic and Political Democracy: Key Challenges Ahead (2018). He is a member of the Governing Board of the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities, and one of the initiators of the International Panel on Social Progress.

    Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic, Sciences-Po, Paris
    Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic is a sociologist, professor and dean of the School of Management and Innovation at Sciences Po. Her research focuses on the interface between business and society – the historical transformation of capitalism, the cross-national diffusion of ideas and practices, business ethics and corporate social responsibility, transnational governance and the performative role of ideologies. She has published broadly on those issues in academic journals and books. In particular, she is the author of Exporting the American Model (1998), winner of the 2000 Max Weber Award (American Sociological Association) and, together with Sigrid Quack, of Transnational Communities: Shaping Global Economic Governance (Cambridge, 2010).

    Ravi Kanbur, Cornell University, New York
    Ravi Kanbur is an economist, Professor at Cornell University. He has served on the senior staff of the World Bank including as Chief Economist for Africa. He is President of the Human Development and Capabilities Association, Chair of the Board of United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research, member of the OECD High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance, Past-President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, past member of the High Level Advisory Council of the Climate Justice Dialogue, and past-member of the Core Group of the Commission on Global Poverty.

    Helga Nowotny, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
    Helga Nowotny is Professor emerita of Social Studies of Science, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich and Former President of the European Research Council, ERC. Currently she is Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her active engagement in scientific boards includes the Walling Falls Foundation (member); Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings (Vice-President); Complexity Science Hub Vienna (Chair); among others. Her latest book publications are The Cunning of Uncertainty (2016) and An Orderly Mess (2017).

    Elisa Reis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
    Elisa Reis is a political sociology professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and chair of the Interdisciplinary Network for Social Inequalities Studies (NIED). Her research focuses on elite perceptions of poverty and inequality, and on contemporary changes in the patterns of interaction between state, market and society. She has published widely in Brazilian and foreign periodicals. She is one of the authors of the book by Michele Lamont et al. Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil and Israel (2016).


    Amartya Sen

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.