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This project is for a Thematic network linked to a RTD project application which seeks to test a theoretical model for the explanation of social exclusion as it affects some of the most vulnerable groups in European member states. The model proposes that social exclusion is a function of the interaction between :
. the match between skills and opportunities for employment
. the physical access to those opportunities
. the social barriers to entry into employment
The argument is that social exclusion can be viewed of a product of what job are available, where they are located and how they are filled. These are considered as independent processes, but one which interact in generating the balance of constraint and opportunity on which social exclusion ultimately depends.
Key features
The key features of the RTD proposal are as follows :
. a focus on migrants or minorities as among the most vulnerable to social exclusion
. the testing of a new theoretical model stressing cumulative causation
. a comparison between sixteen cities in eight states of European Union (five from Norther Europe, three from Souther Europe)
. an innovative multi-level research design focusing on cities, urban locales and households
. a multi-disciplinary comparative perspective featuring an integration of quantitative and qualitative data analysis
. an advisory board with representation from policy makers and voluntary organisations
. the inclusion of three cities in Objective 1 areas of the Community
. a strong link with leading scientists on related issues in the United States
. a strong and coherent management strategy, co-ordinated by an European-level research Institute
. research teams from eight member states of unrivalled expertise and with intimate knowledge of European policy initiatives on social exclusion. Objectives
The principal objectives of the RTD proposal are :
1. to identify forms of social exclusion and the pathways through which they are generated for migrants and minorities in different types of cities
2. to assess the effects of economic changes and national and city-level on generating pathways to social exclusion
3. to consider the reasons for variation in the employment fortunes of different groups of migrants and ethnic minorities when compared the indigenous population
4. To analyse the neighbourhood effects on social exclusion in different urban contexts when compared with households and individual factors
5. to build a repertoire of social indicatoors for both forms of social exclusion and for the pathway through which they are reached Theoretical development
The theoretical model for the RTD work builds on pionering research in the United States, in particular that of William Julius Wilson and Saskia Sassen, but reformulates and extends this thinking in three important ways :
. by comparing different types of cities
. by considering the role of national and European-level policies on employment protection and social welfare
. by examining the specific conditions under which successful social integration occurs for some vulnerable groups.
The RTD project includes a multi-level methodology, focussing in turn upon nations, cities, neighbourhood and households. It combines both quantitative and qualitative data analysis and includes provision for a major social survey which, in conjunction with city-level information, will contribute a new comparative database.
Thematic network
This application will allow for the integration of the work at three levels :
. Regular research workshops to consider strategic planning issues
. Database workshops to develop measures and indicators
. Policy seminars to share results with policy-makers at local, national and European levels
Project management
The project will be strongly managed by an European-level institution which will provide advanced communications to interested parties as the project evolves. It will also use its existing systems for diffusion to ensure the widest possible flow of results.
The RTD project will measure the extent to which a growth in social exclusion for some is a consequence of economic development and integration. It will suggest how social exclusion can be measured and whether it is as cumulative phenemonen. Il will show how social integration can be promoted at the local level and offer guidelines as to what forms of individual behaviour may need to be promoted in order to minimise the dangers of becoming among the socially excluded. The thematic network will sustain the comparative, European focus for this work.

Call for proposal

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Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht
3508 TC Utrecht

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EU contribution
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Participants (7)