Social Policies in Small States

English
ISSN: 
2310-2136 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/23102136
Hide / Show Abstract
The country case studies and thematic papers in this series examine social policy issues facing small states and the implications for economic development. They show how, despite their inherent vulnerability, some small states have been successful in improving their social indicators because of the complementary social and economic policies they have implemented.
 
Defining and Measuring Social Cohesion

Defining and Measuring Social Cohesion You do not have access to this content

English
Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/0810171e.pdf
  • PDF
  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/commonwealth/social-issues-migration-health/defining-and-measuring-social-cohesion_9781848590724-en
  • READ
Author(s):
Jane Jenson
25 Oct 2010
Pages:
34
ISBN:
9781848590724 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848590724-en

Hide / Show Abstract

SOCIAL POLICIES IN SMALL STATES SERIES

The country case studies and thematic papers in this series examine social policy issues facing small states and their implications for economic development. They show how, despite their inherent vulnerability, some small states have been successful in improving their social indicators because of the complementary social and economic policies they have implemented.

THEMATIC PAPER – SOCIAL COHESION

Social cohesion is a concept with multiple definitions and uses in the development community. Its general aim is to ensure that all citizens, without discrimination and on an equal footing, have access to fundamental social and economic rights. Jane Jenson examines this concept in policy debates and assesses its role in social development. Part I examines the literature on social cohesion, identifying three different ‘families’ of usage and the empirical grounding of each. Part II presents a range of indicators that have previously been used to measure social cohesion. Part III provides some discussion of the lessons to be drawn and the indicators that might be used to measure social cohesion in future.
loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Foreword

    During the 1960s and 1970s, increased interest was shown by some international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in small states, notably small islands, and the development challenges they faced during the decolonisation period. The Commonwealth Secretariat, with over a third of its members classified as small economies, is committed to the study of small states. The issue of their vulnerability, for example, was first given formal expression within the Commonwealth at the 1977 Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Barbados. Having noted the special characteristics of small states – in particular their reliance on trade, high dependence on capital inflows and, in some cases, their lack of natural resources – ministers urged the international community to adopt a more flexible approach to their requirements, as well as special measures to assist them. In response, the Secretariat designed a programme to assist in overcoming ‘the disadvantages of small size, isolation and scarce resources which severely limit the capacity of such countries to achieve their development objectives or to pursue their national interests in a wider international context’.

  • Introduction

    The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development defines social policy as ‘public policies and institutions that aim to protect citizens from social contingencies and poverty, and ultimately to enable them to strive for their own life goals’, a definition that serves well here. The agency also recognises that ‘during the past three decades, such a view has been marginalised by policy approaches that emphasise safety nets and the targeting of vulnerable groups’.1 As this paper will document, concerns about social cohesion come at a time of ‘after neoliberalism’, when social policy is being rethought (Jenson, 2007). Social policy is once again seen as a key underpinning of economic performance by many jurisdictions, from the local to the supranational and international, but there is little chance there will be a return to the practices of the trente glorieuses, the three decades of growth after 1945. This is the context for the following discussion of social cohesion and its impact on social development.

  • The Concept of Social Cohesion: Overview and Historical 3 Perspective

    Social cohesion is a concept with a history. It is not simply an academic concept or a catch-all word meaning many things. Rather, it is what is helpfully termed a ‘quasiconcept’ – a hybrid operating within policy communities…

  • Indicators for Measuring Social Cohesion

    In their recent review of the policy literature on social cohesion Kath Hulse and Wendy Stone conclude that...

  • Lessons and a Proposed Set of Indicators

    From this overview of the definition and measurement of social cohesion, we see clearly that it has served as a quasi-concept, one with academic credentials certainly (and surrounded by much academic debate), but also one which serves an important function in policy discourse. As such, it is not different from other concepts in the development and other literatures, such as that on social capital.25

  • The Council of Europe's Strategy for Social Cohesion

    On 12 May 2000, the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) adopted its Strategy for Social Cohesion. This document, approved by the Committee ofMinisters on 13 July, represents a statement of intent setting out a precise agenda for the Council in the social field for the coming years.

  • The European Union's Indicators of Social Inclusion
  • References
  • Add to Marked List