Globalisation and social exclusion

Globalisation is an uneven and socially unequal process and there are concerns that global production and trading systems serve to increase poverty and inequality. The following paper highlights the ways in which the exclusionary processes associated with globalisation graft themselves onto local dynamics of social exclusion.

Beall, J. (2002). Globalisation and Social Exclusion in Cities: Framing the Debate with Lessons from Africa and Asia. Environment and Urbanization, 14(1), 41-51.
How can city governments in the developing world balance the competitive demands of an increasingly globalised economy with their growing responsibility for improving social welfare and reducing social exclusion? This paper considers these contradictory roles in the context of the debates on globalisation and social exclusion. Using case studies from South Africa and Pakistan, it illustrates how global economic trends can exacerbate existing exclusionary processes, further complicating the task of city governments stretched thin through funding reductions and decentralisation.
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Globalisation can undermine labour organisations and informal networks of solidarity, lead to the deterioration of working conditions for vast numbers of people, and widen income inequalities.

United Nations Human Settlements Programme. (2003). Cities and Slums within Globalizing Economies. In The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements. UN-HABITAT.
How has globalisation contributed to slum formation? Trade, deregulated capital, labour markets and the withdrawal of the state have all influenced levels of poverty and inequality. This chapter argues that the insecurities created by globalisation far outweigh any benefits to poorer people. Slums are a result of urban poverty. Creating cities without slums is essentially a search for sustainable urban livelihoods.
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The vast majority of the poor in developing countries work in the informal economy, which is characterised by insecure jobs, weak representation, and a lack of labour regulation. The paper below examines the trade-offs involved in being included in the global economy – in particular, exclusion from economic security, labour rights, bargaining power, and voice.

Carr, M., & Chen, M. (2004). Globalization, Social Exclusion and Work: With Special Reference to Informal Employment and Gender. Geneva: International Labour Office.
How can social exclusion in the realm of work best be tackled in the developing world? This paper considers processes of social inclusion and exclusion in relation to the employment opportunities associated with the global economy. The concept of ‘unemployment’ does not fit the reality of the developing world. However, if an understanding is reached of how social exclusion or inclusion works in different patterns of global integration, it should be possible to promote more favourable inclusion.
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Pervasive inequalities faced by groups that span national borders yet maintain a strong group identity can contribute to conflict.

Stewart, F. (2008). Global Aspects and Implications of Horizontal Inequalities: Inequalities Experienced by Muslims Worldwide. Oxford: Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity.
Are Muslims discriminated against globally as a group? This study reviews inequalities among groups (horizontal inequalities, HIs) of Muslims/non-Muslims within developed and developing countries and between Muslim and non-Muslim countries. It finds that Muslims are systematically disadvantaged across many dimensions. In countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, where Muslims are in a minority they have a worse socio-economic position than non-Muslims, less political representation and their culture is often given less respect. This is also true in comparisons of Palestine and Israel, and of Muslim countries taken as a group as against non-Muslim ones. Furthermore, inequalities faced by Muslims in one part of the world may mobilise Muslims in other parts of the world. Inequalities need to be addressed within countries and between them, both politically and in terms of socioeconomic and cultural status.
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Despite these serious problems, recent evidence from the World Bank suggests that globalisation has also brought some benefits for typically excluded groups, such as women. The authors note that the greater levels of economic integration, technological diffusion, and access to information brought about by globalisation, have ‘operated through markets, formal institutions, and informal institutions to lift some of the constraints to greater gender equality’. However, for results to be more wide-reaching and enduring, targeted public action aimed at closing remaining gender gaps is required.

World Bank. (2011). Globalization’s Impact on Gender Equality: What’s happened and what’s needed. In World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality (chapter 6). Washington, DC: World Bank.
What impact has globalisation had on gender equality? This study examines the impacts of economic integration, technical change and access to information on gender inequality. It argues that not everyone is benefiting from globalisation. Women, for whom existing constraints are most binding, are often left behind. While the forces unleashed by globalisation have lifted some of the barriers to greater gender equality, public action is needed to lift these further. In particular, public policy needs to address gender gaps in endowments, agency, and access to economic opportunities.
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Useful websites

Chronic Poverty Advisory Network
Chronic Poverty Research Centre publications archive on DFID’s Research for Development site
Publications archive of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE)