Friday, April 1, 2011

Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension - UNRISD Call for Papers and Conference

The social dimensions of development are central to understanding the connections between green economy, sustainable development and poverty eradication, and to ensuring that efforts to promote a green economy contribute to socially sustainable development. While there is growing recognition that transitioning to a green economy will have both positive and negative social impacts, it is necessary to consider how benefits and costs are distributed; the types of broader changes in social structures and institutions needed to promote equitable outcomes and transform business and consumer behaviour; the role of different social actors in advocacy, negotiation and decision making; and how accountability, compensation and redress can be assured.

By bringing together United Nations representatives and policy makers, academics and representatives of civil society, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) Call for Papers and Conference will create a forum for dialogue and analysis, aimed at developing a conceptual and policy framework that will position social dimensions at the centre of green economy and sustainable development. Policy reports and other publications will inform the UNCSD 2012 preparatory process and subsequent policy discussions. The UNRISD Call for Papers and Conference will critically examine the following interrelated issues and questions.

1. Social impacts and distributional consequences of policies and processes associated with green economy. What are the consequences of the restructuring of production, services, finance and consumption patterns associated with green economy for the employment, livelihood security and cultural identity of different social groups, across geographic locations and scales? Do different patterns of green economy transition constitute win-win outcomes, or are there winners and losers? What role can social policy, in association with economic and environmental policy, play in minimizing costs, maximizing benefits and building resilience, especially for vulnerable groups? How does the green economy agenda connect with other sustainable development objectives, such as food security, health, social protection, human rights, gender equality, decent work, poverty reduction and climate justice?

2. The potential and limits of structural and institutional change. What do green economy policies, as well as different models of transition, imply for the continuity or transformation of structures, institutions and social relations that reproduce or reinforce inequality and vulnerability? Conversely, how do existing patterns of inequality and vulnerability obstruct or facilitate the potential for different approaches to green economy to contribute to sustainable development and poverty eradication? Are macroeconomic frameworks and conditionalities changing in ways that are conducive to structural reform and sustainable development?

3. Agency and social mobilization for institutional and policy change. How is the notion of green economy itself, and the consideration of social dimensions, being framed by diverse social actors (such as states, business and civil society), and with what effects in terms of influencing policy agendas? What forms of participation, contestation, coalitions, alliances and compromises are emerging—or might need to emerge—to promote green economy approaches that contribute to sustainable development and poverty eradication? Are disadvantaged groups and countries able to gain voice and influence through processes of social dialogue and decision making associated with green economy transition? More about this Conference from here

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