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Inclusive Futures for Informal Workers in Cities in the Global South I 
Graeme Young (University of Glasgow)
Thursday 7 July, 11:00-11:40 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

This panel will explore how informal workers might be included in urban development in cities in the Global South and how greater inclusion can be brought about to ensure more just and sustainable urban futures.

Long Abstract

Long Abstract: As rapid urbanization in the absence of formal job creation will likely lead to the growth of informal economic activity in cities throughout the Global South, there is a clear need to imagine and work towards more inclusive futures for informal workers. This panel will explore what these futures might look like, focusing on examples of inclusion in particular urban contexts, the conditions and processes that (have) brought these about, and the possible insights that can be drawn from them for the promotion of inclusion elsewhere.

Participants are encouraged to address one or more of the following topics:

1. Particular political economy arrangements that facilitate or limit possibilities for inclusion, including political systems, institutions, decision-making processes, or patterns of ownership and accumulation.

2. The extent to which organization within the informal economy can facilitate inclusion, what can be learned from different forms organization has taken and different strategies that have been employed, and how organization in the context of informal work can be placed within the history of labour and/or social movements.

3. The successes and/or failures of policy efforts to promote inclusion in specific contexts, surrounding, for example, the interests they have served and the extent to which they have been truly inclusive for all workers in relation to class, gender, race/ethnicity/religion, and other divisions.

4. Possible strengths and shortcomings of the international policy architecture for promoting inclusion for informal workers, including ILO Recommendation 204, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

5. Emerging trends surrounding, and challenges to, the promotion of inclusion for informal workers, including de-democratization, changes in global production and consumption, rising inequality, the politics of migration, and efforts to address climate change and public health challenges.

6. The role that scholarship can play in bringing about inclusive futures.

Methodology: This panel will consist of a 40-minute discussion of key themes emerging from panelists’ presentations, which all participants will be able to view in advance. All participants will also be encouraged to reflect on how the arguments and materials presented by panelists relate to contexts they are familiar with, one or more of the six panel topics outlined above, and broader trends in the field of Development Studies, and are invited to prepare any questions and/or comments to contribute to what will hopefully be an engaging conversation.

Accepted papers: