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Social Exclusion: the Concept and Application to Developing Countries


  • Ruhi Saith


The feasibility of operationalisation of the 'social exclusion' concept in developing countries is investigated in this paper. The origins of the approach in relation to the welfare state and unemployment status and its spread in Western Europe and developing countries are discussed briefly. Some studies operationalising the concept in Western Europe and developing countries are presented. The differences in the social security arrangements between industrialised and developing countries that require the concept to be altered to allow implementation in local contexts are discussed. Such attempts however appear to largely result in a repetition of research that has already been conducted within frameworks that have developed in developing countries (basic needs, capabilities, sustainable livelihoods, risk and vulnerability, participatory approaches) in parallel to the 'social exclusion' concept in industrialised countries. While most features of the 'social exclusion' concept (attention to multiple dimensions, social relationships, assessing the poverty of individuals relative to others in society and concern with dynamics of poverty) are shared by concepts implemented in developing countries, these frameworks, could benefit by taking from social exclusion its emphasis on investigating the processes that lead to poverty. It would however be sufficient to incorporate an emphasis on looking at processes within pre-existing frameworks in developing countries, rather than re-doing poverty analyses under the rubric of 'social exclusion'.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruhi Saith, "undated". "Social Exclusion: the Concept and Application to Developing Countries," QEH Working Papers qehwps72, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps72

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, "undated". "The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods," QEH Working Papers qehwps58, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    2. Adolfo Figueroa & Teofilo Altamirano & Denis Sulmont, 1996. "Social exclusion and inequality in Peru," Libros no PUCP / Books other publishers, Otras editoriales / Other publishers, edition 1, number otr-1996-02.
    3. Mearns, Robin & Sinha, Saurabh, 1999. "Social exclusion and land administration in Orissa, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2124, The World Bank.
    4. Brian Barry, 1998. "Social Exclusion, Social Isolation and the Distribution of Income," CASE Papers case12, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
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