The Contexts of Social Inclusion

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs DESA Working Paper No. 144

32 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Hilary Silver

Hilary Silver

Brown University; George Washington University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2015


In light of the emphasis on “inclusion” in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this paper contends that social exclusion and inclusion are context-dependent concepts in at least three senses. First, the ideal of an inclusive society varies by country and by region. Second, different places have different histories, cultures, institutions and social structures. These influence the economic, social and political dimensions of social exclusion and the interplay among them. Third, context – where one lives – shapes access to resources and opportunities. Social inclusion is thus spatially uneven. The paper also shows how context matters, identifying some of the mechanisms by which nation-states and localities influence processes of economic, social, and political exclusion and inclusion.

Keywords: Social Inclusion, Social Exclusion, Poverty, SDGs, Groups, Inequality

JEL Classification: I31, I38, Z13

Suggested Citation

Silver, Hilary, The Contexts of Social Inclusion (October 2015). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs DESA Working Paper No. 144, Available at SSRN:

Hilary Silver (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics