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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

To avoid ethnocentric analysis, HE’s role in societal progress may be placed in a context that is abstract enough to be taken as universally applicable, even though the interpretation of its principles is likely to differ between societies and cultures. The literature on development is reviewed to extract core principles that may be conjectured as universal on historical evidence to date. These are specified as capabilities achieved by a society that allow it to adapt to surrounding change, and still remain cohesive. HE can play a significant part in building these capabilities, in its work to transform both individuals and societies. Key catalysts would be scholarship, reasoned analysis, and moral frameworks to support social fusion and incentives to adapt.

Keywords: criticality, societal capabilities, complex systems, social fusion, transformation

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