On Thursday, October 13, IPSP author Doris Tarchópulos (Ch. 5) presented at the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, in Bogotá, Colombia. Organized by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the summit was attended by mayors, governors, local officials and citizens. Dr. Tarchópulos spoke in a session called “Hacer Vivienda, Hacer Ciudad” (“Create housing, Create a city”): she explored the possibility of creating more just cities, and presented the proposal described in Chapter 5 of the IPSP report.
You can read and comment on Chapter 5 (“Cities and Social Progress”) here.
Of your 22 chapters I miss one that looks at the political constraints we face globally and nationally to implement meaningfull changes we academics so passionately pursue in a world clearly dominated by those with excess power.
Yes, in what I have read (not all), you document the powerlessness of the majorities, but fail to conclude your chapters with advice for those powerless to mobilize to exert pressure (or conterpower) to change this indeed oppressive situation. (Literally, you say: “Each chapter concludes with advice to policy-makers”). Yet the best that chapter 18 comes up with at the end is to say: “Vigilant monitoring of these inequalities, combined with forceful engagement with their economic and social determinants, will be needed to ensure that the favorable trends in the contours of human life become each person’s birthright”.
In your overview you actually also say the Report is “to compile evidence across disciplines to rethink our ideas of a just society” (the question is who is ‘our’…are you talking to the already convinced social scientists?) … and that you “aim to deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best evidence on questions that bear on social change”. The flaw in this thinking is that the politicians who are to take the decisions that you (mostly tangentially) call for are not convinced by our academics’ evidence; they have their political agendas! This is why your saying in chapter 14: “Elected members of governments and parliaments are supposed to generate public hearings and decide according to networks and not according to the policy sets and ideologies for which they were chosen by the people” is so senseless. Ideology plays the major, key role.
“Advice to policy makers” is what we have been doing for decades; to what avail? Top down does not work!
Am I right to complain that the report depoliticizes the issues? I will be glad to be proven wrong.