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Call for papers: Social Inclusion in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and the Human Development Report’s Office (HDRO) in partnership with UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS, the Master's of Public Affairs (MPA) of Sciences Po and the Human Development Centre of Moscow State University offers researchers from different disciplines free access to a unique UNDP/UNICEF 2010 survey dataset on social exclusion covering Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

A Best Paper Prize is awarded to an outstanding paper evaluated by a committee composed of representatives from UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, HDRO, UNICEF, MPA Sciences Po and the Human Development Centre of Moscow State University. Other excellent papers will be selected to be presented at an international conference on social inclusion (see below).

The call for papers will focus on but not be limited to empirical research that makes use of the UNDP/UNICEF survey (regional or country level analysis) in the following fields:

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2010
A Roma child in Mitrovica, Kosovo
  • Social exclusion is manifested through and results in exclusions from political, social, cultural and economic life in societies. Deprivation in one domain reinforces deprivation in other domains which leads to a vicious cycle of social exclusion. What are the processes and drivers of social exclusion in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries? How do patterns of exclusion hamper progress towards human development.
  • Children are often at risk of social exclusion. What are the specific dimensions of social exclusion of children in the region? How are they experiencing exclusion and what are the consequences? What are possible ways to measure social exclusion of children and which policies have been proven effective to address exclusion of children?
  • Social exclusion measurements are diverse and different approaches exist. What could be innovative measurements reflecting the multidimensionality and dynamic processes of social exclusion?
  • Poverty reduction policies often fail to reach socially excluded groups unless they are specifically designed to do so. Anti-discrimination policies and legal frameworks remain hollow if opportunities for real participation in society are missing.
  • What types of legal and regulatory frameworks have been successful in promoting social inclusion (e.g., banning discrimination, affirmative action)?
  •  How can social protection policies help reduce the social exclusion of particular groups? What strategies have been effective?
  • What methods have been successfully employed to improve access to high-quality services (e.g., health care, education, etc.) and the labour market for excluded groups?
  • What are the costs of not confronting social exclusion?
  • Social exclusion reflects interactions among legacies, policies, and institutions. Exclusion did not first emerge with transition to the market economy—it was there before, but with different drivers and outcomes. Transition changed those drivers. What are the effects of transition on social exclusion outcomes and drivers?
  • The financial crisis has dramatically affected many countries in the region. How does the recession interact with social exclusion? What coping strategies are now being used by the socially excluded?
  • Almost all European and Central Asian transition economies have sought to modernize inherited pre-transition social policy, taxation, and labour market regulation frameworks. While the goal of accelerating economic growth by reducing tax and regulatory burdens on enterprises has figured prominently in these efforts, so have desires to increase employment among, and break poverty traps often affecting, vulnerable groups. To what extent have these reforms been successful? Are they consistent with the logic of social solidarity and inclusion?

Papers can be comparative covering the six survey countries or focus specifically on one (or few) selected countries. Comparisons of results with other countries from the region and outside the region are also of particular interest. Researchers are encouraged to complement the UNDP/UNICEF survey data with other existing quantitative and qualitative data.

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