In 1942, William Beveridge published his famous report on Britain’s system of social insurance, entitled Social Insurance and Allied Services. Beveridge identified five “Giant Evils” in British society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. He also proposed reforming the system of social welfare to address these.

This website contains my attempts to understand challenges facing industrialised nations in the 21st century, and to think about what can be done by the modern state to address them. As an economist by training, much of what is said here will be inspired by academic research in economics, but the thoughts here will usually deviate from the precision demanded in academic economics.

As a result of accident of birth and upbringing, I will be biased towards the experiences of Poland and the United Kingdom. However, the questions raised here will, I hope, be relevant beyond the borders of these two countries.

The image above is of the general strike in Lviv on 28th November 1905, part of the events  surrounding the 1905 Revolution in the Russian Empire. The reforms introduced as a result of the protests illustrate how collective action can bring about social change. After 1905, these included the establishment of a parliament, the State Duma, a multi-party system in the Russian Empire, and the Russian Constitution of 1906. Source: National Library of Poland, https://polona.pl/item/5817299/0/ .

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