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"Social Exclusion: Socio-Political, Legal and Policy Perspectives" in "Finding Pathways: Social Inclusion in Rural Development" (edited by Smita Premchander, Sudin K, Peter Reid)

Book/book chapter

Written by Rebecca Holmes

The author introduces three frameworks for understanding social exclusion, its links with, and the causes of, chronic poverty. The paper distils the key assumptions and elements in each framework as it attempts to understand social exclusion, its processes, mechanism and its relationship with deprivation. These frameworks share several similarities while having certain essential differences, with one of them (Hickey and du Toit) introducing the notion of ‘adverse incorporation’ in place of social exclusion while de Haan’s framework explains the institutional, distributional and relational aspects of social exclusion. The equity or inequity in socio-economic and political relationships that people share with groups, institutions and the State emerges as a central plank in this paper. Rebecca finds the Gender and Social Exclusion Assessment (GSEA), developed by DFID and World Bank, particularly useful in focussing policy initiatives. This paper presents three case studies, one each on the ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’ (NREGA) India, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee’s (BRAC) ‘Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction programme’ (CFPR) Bangladesh and the national policy commitments of Nepal to sharpen the understanding of the concepts on social exclusion. The paper uses the GSEA framework and its three ‘domains of change’ in analysing these case studies to assess their nature and extent of their impact on addressing dimensions of social exclusion.

The book contains papers 24 papers from 32 authors covering aspects ranging from conceptual understanding of social exclusion/inclusion, socio-political legal perspectives, inclusion/exclusion of special groups, role of institutions in fostering social inclusion, effective strategies for inclusion and emerging opportunities for social inclusion.

Rebecca Holmes