Author(s): Ashley Hay
From our first experiences to our last, institutions structure our world - through education and medicine to politics, justice, civics and religion. But in recent years even the most entrenched of institutions are seemingly on the edge of implosion. Either through deliberate political attacks or as an effect of wider disruption, new social forces have issued a comprehensive challenge to the established order.
Does this new uncertainty mark a profound loss of trust in how our society is organised and how it operates? Might this be an opportunity for thorough-going reform to regain lost legitimacy, or does it mark an end-point for a social structure that is no longer tenable in the twenty-first century? Can institutions adapt? Can trust be rebuilt? Or will new forms of social organisation eventuate from this gathering sense of crisis?