Intersectionality: Possibilities for Equality Policy
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the potential of an intersectional perspective for Flemish equality policies in the Post-Lisbon era. Much as 'diversity' was widely used, and differently interpreted a few years ago, the concept of intersectionality has made its way into advanced policy circles with varying implications. This project aims to explore the current theoretical thinking on 'intersectionality', the usages of the concept by the various equality groups, and the implications for policy practice in each sector and for more integrated approaches. Additionally, it wants to explore the potential and challenges of an intersectional perspective on and in equality policy through a critical engagement within the Policy Research Centre.
Bringing external intersectionality experts and practitioners into dialogue with the Policy Research Centre's researchers engaged in policy relevant research and with civil servants engaged in policy making can not only stimulate synergy but also develop the self-reflexivity of the researchers.
The papers produced in this process can lay the basis for evaluating intersectional approaches and their applicability in equality policies for different groups. These working papers will document intersectional identities that require specific policy attention, the topics that are currently important in an intersectional perspective, and the innovations in policy strategies and tools.
Specific questions that will be included in the analysis are:
* What are the implications of different roots of intersectionality in law, race, gender and sexuality studies for policy on the diverse groups. What is the relation to an anti-discrimination legal frame on the one hand and potential for equal opportunity positive duties on the other? Can intersectionality usefully travel beyond law and social theory?
* How is intersectionality perceived and applied in theory and policy practice around disability, gender, sexuality and age inequalities. Is it the same or different. Why? How is the term used by the different groups and why? Where are the most important interactions and cross sections? Is intersectionality more relevant for some groups than others?
* What practices and policies have been developed in Europe that integrate an intersectional perspective and to what extent are they relevant for the differing target groups and policy practitioners? When there are intersections of policy relevance how can researchers and policy makers overcome the territoriality and boundaries constraining policy communities from developing innovative solutions in dealing with them?