Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Igniting an Intersectional Shift in Public Policy Research (and Training): Canadian Public Policy Special Lecture

Lindsay M., Tedds (2022): Igniting an Intersectional Shift in Public Policy Research (and Training): Canadian Public Policy Special Lecture. Forthcoming in: Canadian Public Policy

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Throughout the 2010s, a major focus of public policy and public policy debates was about understanding the sources of inequality and understanding the role of government in addressing income inequality. While progress has been made, significant gaps in inequality remain; gaps that go well beyond income inequality and which were emphasized throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The experiences of the pandemic have served as a reminder that individuals in society have distinct experiences, and that attention to inequality and diversity needs to be seriously incorporated into modernized policy frameworks. As governments commit to a fair recovery from COVID-19, and society is more hopeful for a more just society, what is required is a much more inclusive approach to policy analysis in order to address longstanding failures of the economy and society. In particular, modernized policy frameworks need to be more representative of, and attentive to, the experiences and struggles of marginalized and underrepresented populations. Intersectionality is an analytical tool rooted in the social justice paradigm that makes clear the links between notions of identity and the systems of power through which they play out. Intersectionality considers the ways in which our identities are formed at the intersections of various social constructs, such as race, ability, class and gender, and within broader contexts and structures of power, such as the labour market and government institutions. Fully integrating intersectionality into policy analysis could create a policy analysis structure that would advance policy agendas of diversity, inclusion, and inclusive growth.

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