1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Publications


UNRISD pursues an active and varied publications programme, which includes in-house and commercially published books, special reports, programme and occasional papers, as well as newsletters on specific events and the Institute’s work in general.

This section provides a catalogue of our publications, and free online access to many of them. We encourage you to subscribe to our free email alerts service to be informed when new publications are posted on this Web site.

Highlights...

Intergenerational Mobility in Education: Estimates of the Worldwide Variation

August 2019

Intergenerational Mobility in Education: Estimates of the Worldwide Variation

Author: Tharcisio Leone

This paper applies the recently published “Global Database on Intergenerational Mobility” to present a detailed picture of the chances of mobility around the world. The empirical results obtained from transition matrices and linear regression models, and based on harmonized data for education attainments of children and their parents from 148 countries, point to three main conclusions: first, the likelihood of attaining intergenerational mobility differs widely across countries and word regions; second, intergenerational persistence in education is particularly strong in the least-developed countries; and, finally – and perhaps most importantly – the mobility gap between poor and rich countries has increased over time.

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Persistence of Poverty in an Indigenous Community in Southern India: Bringing Agrarian Environment to the Centre of Poverty Analysis

August 2019

Persistence of Poverty in an Indigenous Community in Southern India: Bringing Agrarian Environment to the Centre of Poverty Analysis

Author: Sudheesh Ramapurath

This paper draws attention to the need for centring the agrarian environment in poverty analysis and development policymaking. Through an ethnographic enquiry into the persistence of poverty among a landless indigenous community in the southern Indian state of Kerala, this paper tries to understand the community’s negotiations with changes in the agrarian environment. The community is losing out on livelihood strategies and adaptation measures on multiple fronts simultaneously. The multi-directionality and simultaneity of the exclusions produced by changes in the agrarian environment warrant attention in poverty analysis, the paper argues. I follow members of this community in their quest to find alternative livelihoods in the wake of rapid deagrarianization in Kerala and show how they are systematically losing out on each of these livelihood pathways. I also follow them in sites of migration in the villages of the neighbouring state of Karnataka, where they are fast being replaced by cheaper labour. Fieldwork in sites of state-sponsored land distribution shows that receiving land does not necessarily work towards lifting them out of precarity. From these observations, the paper concludes that the stealthy ways in which changes in the agrarian environment further the exclusions of marginalized communities need to be paid greater attention.

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Transforming Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Cities: Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta

Transforming Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Cities: Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta

Author: Tue Minh Tran

Flooding is increasing in frequency and magnitude in coastal cities around the world, causing tremendous human and material losses. In many cities of the Global South, inequalities and informality represent further urban development challenges that compound the impacts of climate change. Transformative adaptation is one possible pathway forward, taking climate change as an opportunity to tackle root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. Towards this end, policy and decision makers must ask: What does transformative adaptation look like on the ground? What are the visions, opportunities, and challenges for policy change for transformative adaptation in coastal cities?

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Overcoming Inequalities in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

July 2019

Overcoming Inequalities in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Inequalities are one of today’s greatest challenges, obstructing poverty reduction and sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to overcome inequalities, containing two standalone goals—SDGs 5 and 10—and, moreover, an overarching commitment to leaving no one behind. In considering how to reduce inequalities, the time has come to adjust our focus to include not just the bottom of the pyramid, but also the top: elite power and all its ramifications, as well as the sources of these power imbalances, the fractures they have wrought, and the drivers of policy change to level out social stratification and devolve power and resources from elites to non-elites.

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Transforming Coastal City Adaptation: From Idea to Practice

June 2019

Transforming Coastal City Adaptation: From Idea to Practice

Author: Dunja Krause

People living in coastal cities around the world face great risks from the impacts of climate change. In the developing world, these often combine with the challenges of urban development and overcoming poverty and sharp inequalities, generating a particularly difficult set of tasks for local policy makers. Adaptation measures often focus on large infrastructural measures such as coastal defenses, at the expense of integrated and inclusive solutions that tackle not only people’s exposure to hazards, but also social vulnerabilities and their root causes. This Brief introduces three key considerations for transformative policy change that builds resilience in highly exposed coastal cities.

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