Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity

The Erasmus Initiative ‘Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity’ focuses on enabling as many people as possible to benefit from increasing prosperity, whilst minimising the negative consequences. Increased prosperity requires constant coordination of the changing needs and values of governments, businesses, citizens and entrepreneurs. In order to chart this dynamic field, scholars from Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam School of Management and the Erasmus School of Philosophy entered into a multidisciplinary partnership.

The Erasmus Initiative “Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity” (DoIP) develops understanding of inclusive prosperity, and exposes its drivers. It also shows how this knowledge can be used to effectively address contemporary societal challenges in the Netherlands and elsewhere. DoIP brings together scholars in law, business and philosophy. This combination of academic expertise puts it in an excellent position to study how in a context that is “oriented” by different layers of legislation and (self) regulation, public and private sector actors can interact to leverage inclusive prosperity. How are the benefits of activities distributed and how are the interests of all stakeholders protected? Through which mechanisms and legal institutions is inclusion promoted? What are the epistemologies of injustice and hurdles to transformative change? The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play an important role in the assessment of current situations and contemplation of possible improvements.

Themes

Inclusive Prosperity is a broad topic. DoIP’s activities focus on the following three themes.

Leveraging Inclusive Cities

For centuries cities have had the potential to provide opportunities for a better life. Often, they are the focal points for economic, social, intellectual and political activities. However, increasing urbanization typically goes hand in hand with rising inequality and exclusion and this is a challenge for cities in both the Global North and South. What can be done at the municipal level to reduce poverty and inequality, raise participation in education, reduce crime and insecurity and increase employment? The typical external partner in our project under this theme will be the City of Rotterdam, including collaboration with the port authority. Also, collaboration with other cities, both nearby (The Hague) and far away (especially in China) are foreseen. While work in this area primarily takes the perspective of possible interventions by the public sector, it will also study how private actors and for-profit initiatives can contribute to improvements. Clearly, this theme has a strong link to the topics covered by the Erasmus Initiative “Vital Cities and Citizens”.

Sustainability and Ecological Inclusion

Ecological trade-offs can have significant effects on inclusion (or exclusion) through activities that, at least at first glance, quite clearly lead to more prosperity. Industrial agriculture, fishery and forestry, mineral mining and petrochemical industry are commonly seen to contribute to economic prosperity and are therefore protected by strong legal frameworks, despite degrading the environment at the local and global level. Obvious gains from industrial activities and global supply chains are accompanied by substantial and sometimes dramatic losses for widespread communities. What is needed to create outcomes that are socially more fair and ecologically sustainable? How can global supply chains be transformed so that the benefits are fairly shared and the environment is respected? In this context, there is also a connection to the Erasmus Initiative “Smarter Choices for Better Health”, especially their work on population health and health equity.

Inclusive Financial Systems

In our complex society the availability of a sophisticated financial system is indispensable. Much of our innovation and development would be impossible without a system that efficiently distributes the financing and allows for risk sharing. However, financial markets are also considered by some as culprit of much inequality and many argue that both academic research in finance and actual industry practices have to change drastically if finance is to play a more positive role in society. Is the current financial system helping or does it widen the gap between the rich and the poor? How should finance research and industry practice change to stimulate sustainable investments, corporate social responsibility, or universal access to financial services? How can current and new socio-legal institutions of finance re-orient and regulate investment practices to stimulate inclusive prosperity?

Mission Statement Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity

"To bring common sense concepts back in to academia from across a variety of disciplines, to secure the social and environmental inclusiveness of prosperity creation. And to generate scientific and societal impact with these concepts and conceptual insights."

- Professor Martin de Jong, Scientific director of the Erasmus Research Initiative ‘Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity’.

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Remi van der Leer, MSc - Operations Manager

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