Inclusion and Exclusion

Processes of inclusion and exclusion in different fields and at different levels characterize many aspects of social action. Inspired by the Weberian idea of social closure and conceived of as relational concepts, inclusion and exclusion refer to the practices, mechanisms and rules which grant or refuse an individual access to and participation in rights, resources, opportunities and activities. Inclusion or exclusion are neither absolute nor static, but should be looked at in a dynamic and gradual way in different societal fields (e.g. social, political, economic, cultural), including the spatial dimension. Furthermore, differentiating between a structural perspective (referring to rules and rights) and an action-oriented perspective is a useful approach in order to understand the social and political dynamics of differentiated inequalities. It enables us to take into account the formal conditions and criteria for in- or exclusion as well as the individual agency as regards access to resources and participation in order to arrive to a fine and nuanced understanding of the processes at stake.

Our focus

We are interested in processes of inclusion and exclusion in particular in the field of migration. Thereby we focus both on state rules and practices towards non-citizens and on the way migrant individuals navigate within and around these rules. This implies for instance questions around rules and practices of granting or refusing access to the territory of a state (border control and admission policy and practice for different categories), measures of spatial exclusion (deportation, immigration detention), access to public services (health services, social security, social welfare) for different categories of migrants (asylum-seekers, undocumented migrants), integration requirements as criteria for legal in- or exclusion, access to and deprivation of citizenship.