Policy Responses to Social Exclusion

Policy Responses to Social Exclusion

Policy Responses to Social Exclusion

Policy Responses to Social Exclusion

Synopsis

This text examines current policy responses to s0cial exclusion. It begins by asking the questions: what do we mean by social exclusion? what are the dimensions of social exclusion? how is it measured? and what are the common threads that run though contemporary policy? Each contribution addresses a different area of policy, describing the context for the intervention, examining key themes and issues and assessing the likely effectiveness of policies. The final chapter asks the question: how should we assess the impact of policy to address social exclusion? and then provides a possible framework for evaluation.

Excerpt

Janie Percy-Smith

This introductory chapter provides a context for the discussion of policy responses to social exclusion in the subsequent chapters. It begins with an overview of the origins and development of social exclusion as a concept and discusses the ways in which social exclusion is defined. From this discussion of definitions I then derive a series of dimensions of social exclusion which are related to tire subject matter of the subsequent chapters. in the final section I begin the discussion of policy responses to social exclusion by drawing out the cross-cutting themes and issues which characterize and inform the policy initiatives discussed in the later chapters of this book.

The origins and development of social exclusion as a concept

The term ‘social exclusion’ originated in the social policy of the French socialist governments of the 1980s and was used to refer to a disparate group of people living on the margins of society and, in particular, without access to the system of social insurance (Room 1995; Jordan 1997; Burchardt et al. 1999). However, when the term began to be used in the European context it referred more to the European Union (EU) objective of achieving social and economic cohesion. Economic cohesion has been a key goal for the eu since the early treaties establishing the European Economic Community, but social cohesion really came to the fore with the negotiations around the Maastricht Treaty. the term social cohesion refers to the ‘reconciliation of a system of organisation based on market forces, freedom of opportunity and enterprise with a commitment to the values of internal solidarity and mutual support . . .

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