The IEJ’s core objective is to provide policy makers and progressive social forces in South Africa with access to rigorous economic analysis, and well thought through policy options, as a basis for advancing systemic change. Interventions proposed by the IEJ must advance social justice, promote equitable economic development that realises socio-economic rights, and ensure a thriving, democratic, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive economy that places the needs of the majority at the centre.
By acting as a research and policy hub, the IEJ builds links between the research community and the labour movement, progressive civil society and activist organisations, and elements within the state and business. Our research agenda is developed in an ongoing collaboration with these social partners, and the project outputs are made accessible and appropriate for policy work. In South Africa, such an organic relationship between an economics research institute and organisations with a mass constituency is unique.
In addition to proposing immediate economic reforms, the IEJ contributes towards the development of a range of coherent longer-term programmes aimed at deeper structural change. This requires new thinking, which respond to changing domestic and international conditions, and begins to reimagine progressive economic alternatives, by going beyond old paradigms.