We are inviting contributions for a Special Issue of the journal Social Inclusion:
Special Issue Title: Transport Policy and Social Inclusion
Professor Graham Parkhurst
Director, Centre for Transport and Society, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK; E-Mail: graham.Parkhurst@uwe.ac.uk
Dr Juliet Jain
Centre for Transport and Society, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK; E-Mail: Juliet.Jain@uwe.ac.uk
Dr Miriam Ricci
Centre for Transport and Society, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK; E-Mail: Miriam.Ricci@uwe.ac.uk
Deadline for Abstracts: 15 June 2015
Deadline for Full Papers: 15 October 2015
Publication of the Special Issue: December 2016
Social inclusion was a central concept in transport policy analysis in the wealthy democracies in the 2000s, following the principle that mobility was a key resource enabling participation in society. Since then it has become less important to the debate and practice of transport policy, due to concerns that its application had promoted very specific policy targets applied in a general way. For example, policy might identify particular goods and services as essential. Planning analyses might then assess whether households theoretically reaching the closest (in time) or nearest (in space) location offering that good or service could do so within a particular threshold. Such standards would make no reference though to how those households wished to travel and whether they actually wanted to consume those goods and services from the most proximate locations. In some contexts of growing virtual mobility and the rejuvenation of home delivery services, the mobility needs which are unmet are increasingly those necessary for social interaction which in turn is important for mental wellbeing, rather than for physiological subsistence (Parkhurst et al., 2014). However, in many areas of the world access to education, health care and other essential services remain a challenge.
For this special issue “Transport Policy and Social Inclusion” we seek contributions from a variety of geographical contexts, disciplinary approaches and research methodologies examining the following topics and other interrelated questions:
• How appropriate is the concept of “social inclusion” in advancing the theory and practice of transport policy in both affluent and less affluent societies, where growing social inequalities are making it more difficult or impossible for a significant proportion of citizens to access opportunities which are the preserve of minority elites? What are the means in transport policy to influence this hegemony? Recently, there has been a focus on empowerment through recognising and promoting individual capabilities, combined with curbing the worst excesses of “social-distributional” impacts from new transport infrastructure projects. What approaches to the study of equity and social justice can be applied to debates around social inclusion in transport policy?
• What is the future role of the concept of “social inclusion” in the formation and delivery of transport policy? Is the concept still relevant for assessing needs and aspirations in contemporary transport policy? If so, in which spatial and social contexts? And can it be reformed to be more relevant? Is that relevance essentially conceptual-theoretical, or are new ways of operationalising social inclusion in policy delivery overcoming earlier limitations?
• The rise of the “sustainable mobility paradigm” (Banister, 2008) has often emphasised future environments and populations, without giving due consideration to the socioeconomic needs of contemporary communities – both minorities and majorities. Is “social inclusion” therefore a relevant and under-emphasised part of the discourse around changing mobilities? If so, how can this concept be better included in the prevailing discourse?
• The rise of new transport technologies and practices to address sustainability challenges, particularly collective or shared ownership and use of transport assets, offer new practical opportunities and challenges to inclusion. For example, how can bike and car sharing schemes be made more equitable and inclusive?
• The regulatory contexts of transport decision-making, infrastructure delivery and operations are subjects of perennial debate and relevance to inclusion in society: what are the merits and shortcomings of private and public ownership and/or operation? How (and how far) is it possible and desirable to engage the effective participation of all groups in societies in major infrastructure decision-making processes? Who should benefit from subsidies to access transport services?
Banister, D. (2008). The sustainable mobility paradigm. Transport Policy, 15(2), 73-80.
Parkhurst, G., Galvin, K., Musselwhite, C., Phillips, J., Shergold, I., & Todres, L. (2014). Beyond transport: understanding the role of mobilities in connecting rural elders in civic society. In C. Hennesey, R. Means, V. Burholt (Eds), Countryside Connections: Older people, Community and Place in Rural Britain (pp. 125-157). Bristol: Policy Press.
Keywords: capabilities approach; participation; transport needs; transport policy; transport regulation; social-distributional impacts; social exclusion; social inclusion; sustainable mobility
Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this Special Issue are kindly asked to consult the Instructions for Authors of the journal and to send their abstracts by email to Mr. António Vieira (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 June 2015. Authors are also kindly asked to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs.