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The Politics of Social Inclusion: From Knowledge to Action

Date: 15 Nov 2019

  • Time: 12.30 - 14.00
  • Location: Library Events Room (B-Building, 1st Floor), Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Counterpart(s): UN Library Geneva
  • Project Title: UNRISD Seminar Series

The Politics of Social Inclusion: From Knowledge to Action
The idea of social inclusion—inclusive societies, inclusive growth, inclusive institutions, inclusive education, inclusive cities—is a bedrock of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its promise to leave no one behind. At this event we will learn more about the concepts, processes and politics of social inclusion.

Speakers will describe concrete examples of social exclusion, the processes and politics behind them, as well as popular mobilization and public policies to combat them and foster more inclusive societies. How have slum dwellers in Kampala made their voices heard in the planning and upgrading of their environment? How do social workers support the most vulnerable people in the cities of Beijing and Chongqing, where there are strong state controls on individual behavior? What government policies are being put in place in India to counter gender, caste and faith-based discrimination, and are these interventions succeeding?

Speakers will also unpack the concept of social inclusion in the United Nations, in the context of the 2030 Agenda, and in academic discourse. Combining examples drawn from a range of countries with critical reflections on the politics and rhetoric of social inclusion, the speakers will share insights into why combating exclusion and fostering inclusion—realizing the promise of leaving no one behind—is such an enormous analytical and policy puzzle, and what actions need to be taken to begin to solve it.


12:30-12:35 Welcome: Francesco Pisano, Director, UN Library Geneva

12:35-13:30 A discussion with
  • Fadia Kiwan: Director-General, Arab Women Organization; Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee of MOST, UNESCO; Professor of Political Science, Saint Joseph University, Beirut. Her research interest is in comparative public policy, with a focus on policies for women’s inclusion in the Arab States.
  • Gabriele Köhler: Development economist; Former UN official; UNRISD Senior Research Associate. Her research, publications and advocacy focus on the UN development agenda and human rights, gender and climate justice, and social and economic policy, notably social protection. She is on the governing board of the UN Association of Germany and of Women Engage for a Common Future.
  • Juan Telleria: Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of the Basque Country; Researcher, HEGOA Institute for Cooperation and Development Studies. His research focuses on UN development agendas (MDGs, SDGs, the UNDP’s Human Development framework) in terms of discourse, identity and power.

Moderated by: Katja Hujo, UNRISD Senior Research Coordinator

13:30-14:00 Q&A Session

About the Book

The panelists are contributors to a new edited volume, The Politics of Social Inclusion: Bridging Knowledge and Policies Towards Social Change. The book is a result of collaboration between the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) of the International Science Council (ISC), the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, and the University of Bergen (UiB). It includes chapters based on ethnographic field research in Kingston, Port-au-Prince, La Paz, Kampala, Beijing, Chongqing, Mumbai, Delhi, and villages in northern India.

📖 To purchase the book, visit Columbia University Press or access a free electronic version through BORA.

The Politics of Social Inclusion: Bridging Knowledge and Policies Towards Social Change
Edited by Gabriele Koehler, Alberto D. Cimadamore, Fadia Kiwan and Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez
CROP International Poverty Studies, vol. 9.

📑 You may also be interested in the CROP/GRIP Policy Brief The Politics of Social Inclusion: Bridging Knowledge and Policies Towards Social Change.