The Politics of Inclusion : Towards a Secure and Sustainable Future

Organizers: Alberto D Cimadamore (CROP - Comparative Research Program on Poverty (ISSC / UiB) /Norway),
John Crowley (UNESCO)

Panel contents:
There is still no absolute or clear consensus on social exclusion and social inclusion within the context of the social sciences, despite the centrality of these issues in current economic, social and political debates (including the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development).

The concept of social inclusion is broadly accepted to be linked to poverty eradication and other key social variables such as income distribution, unemployment rates, and access to health and education services. However, a precise conceptualization of the notion of economic and social inclusion is needed in order to evaluate the implementation of these goals at national and global level. Work has been done towards conceptualizing social exclusion at regional and national level in some parts of the world (e.g. the harmonised indicator for social exclusion adopted by the European Union in 2001), but much more needs to be done in order to define and implement a consistent set of policies and measures that target social inclusion.
The implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development - in particular in relation to five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); #1 (end poverty), #5 (gender equality), #8 (promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth), #10 (reduce inequality) and #16 (promote peaceful and inclusive societies) ? requires policy makers and social scientists to focus on several key social inclusion challenges. These challenges go beyond the theoretical and methodological aspects of conceptualizing socio-economic inclusion, and deal directly with the political aspects of creating a society that not only leaves “no one behind”, but also offers the conditions for everyone to have a good and fruitful life now and in future generations.

A set of key questions will guide the work of the panel:
1. How can a set of policy measures geared towards an inclusive society as broadly depicted by the Agenda 2030 be designed and implemented? What would the main features be and how could they be realistically implemented in different historical and geographical contexts?
2. What are the main political obstacles to achieving a more just and inclusive society today?
3. How can these obstacles be overcome in the context of current power relations at national and international level?
4. How can we precisely evaluate success/failure in achieving the SDGs on socio-economic inclusion?
5. Who are/should be responsible and accountable for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 goals and targets directly related to socio-economic inclusion?

The panel will address these questions while trying to focus on the kind of social transformations that have the capability and/or potential to change the dynamics that keep a huge and unacceptable proportion of people disadvantaged in our current world.
The ability to address competing interpretations of social inclusion, and to advance the concept as a key theoretical underpinning of the struggle against global poverty and its visible negative effects, is rapidly emerging as a practical necessity for organisations such as UNESCO and CROP. A long-term partnership between these organisations to promote high quality scientific studies that can inform effective policy was established in 2016. This panel proposal is an important step towards further collaboration aimed at impacting on decision-making at national and international level.
A publication with the results of the panel at the WSSF 2018 will be pursued and disseminated along with other results from the ongoing collaboration between UNESCO and CROP on the subject of the politics of inclusion.

Alberto D Cimadamore (CROP - Comparative Research Program on Poverty (ISSC / UiB) /Norway) 《 Chair 》