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SOCIAL COHESION, SOCIAL CAPITAL AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION A cross cultural compariso

Dr Kath Hulse, Wendy Stone (2007)

Key facts

Journal/Publisher
Political studies
Type of publication
Journal article
Elements of social cohesion
Intergroup relations
Identity/feeling of belonging
Participation
Equality/Inequality
Geographical focus
Canada
Main thematic areas
Political institutions & governance
Concept & measurement
Development cooperation

Summary

Interest in the concept of social cohesion has waxed and waned since Durkheim’s foundation studies at the end of the 19th century, with the greatest interest being in times of fundamental economic, social and political change. The term is used in at least two different ways: firstly, in a policy context, to indicate the aims of, and rationale for, certain public policy actions; and secondly, as an analytical construct to explain social, political and sometimes economic changes. This article focuses on the first of these and traces the recent usage of social cohesion, spanning its take-up and influence within the Canadian policy environment, through to its usage (orotherwise) across liberal welfare regimes such as the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand, and contrasting these experiences with its application in European institutions. The differential usage across these geopolitical settings is highlighted. Drawing upon Esping-Andersen’s welfare state typology, and an explicit acknowledgement of national differences in relation to ethnic and cultural diversity, various explanations for these differences are discussed and their policy consequences explored.

Publication_2007_Dr Kath Hulse, Wendy Stone

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