Social contract theory goes back to the works of Hobbes and Rousseau and considers the role of government in peoples’ lives. We give up some of our freedom and autonomy in return for the protection of the state. Is there a case for regulation by social contract in the water sector? Concerns over financial management in the water industry have caused fundamental questions to be raised by politicians, academics and journalists about who should own water services, how they should be run and whose interests they serve. What could a social contract in the water sector look like? Can the existing regulatory structure be adapted to meet public concerns? What would the resulting role of the regulator be?
Speaker: Rachel Fletcher, CEO, Ofwat
Respondent: Julian Franks, Professor of Finance, London Business School