The role of state in the contemporary global system is greatly shaped by its inner or domestic strength that include economic resilience, socio-political harmony and a stable constitutional political order. These attributes cannot be achieved by a state unless it assigns the highest priority to human and societal development and promotion of egalitarian socio-economic arrangements that provide equal opportunities to all citizens irrespective of ethnicity, language, religion, caste, region or gender. The focus is on transforming human resources into human capital through education, learning of technology and skills, and health care. There is now a greater emphasis on good governance and a fair and transparent political management and delivery of basic services to the society. This covers policy making and implementation regarding a host of key issues. It is also important to ensure that the fruits of economic growth are fairly distributed in the society. The state must work towards removing socio-economic inequities and disparities among people and regions. This paper examines the major factors responsible for the growing emphasis in state policy on human and social development as well as the historical evolution of this change. It is argued that the political developments in the 1990s and later contributed most in creating a global awareness about human and societal developments. These include, inter alia, the end of the Cold War, the collapse of some states, the rise of religious and cultural extremism and terrorism and the efforts of the various organs and agencies of the United Nations to promote human development and social stability. The paper also identifies the major obstacles in the developing countries, especially in Pakistan, to socio-economic development and distributive justice.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi