Starting in the 1970s in the US and the 1980s in many Western countries the macroeconomic performance of economies and the lived economic experience of large numbers of citizens de-coupled. In this talk I will argue that this “great de-coupling” led to a breaking of the social contract which in turn has led to psychological reactions that have fed the rise of voter anger and populism. I will explore hypotheses on the causes of this great de-coupling, what aspects of the social contract broke, and how a new contract might be re-constructed. I will close by discussing the urgency of accelerating institutional innovation and constructing a new social contract that is robust to accelerating technology change.


Research Programmes