From Exclusion to Inclusion: The Understanding, Capacity, and Will to Change Local Government Practices

  • Björn MöllerEmail author
Part of the Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements book series (ACHS)


Local governments should be at the frontline of combatting social exclusion. Their proximity to the citizens, and their understanding of the specific needs of the communities they govern, allow them to play a potentially central role in counteracting exclusion. Without undervaluing national and international efforts to counteract social exclusion, it is reasonable to state that local governments too can and should proactively contribute to building inclusive societies. Local governments are already implementing relevant measures, and several are cooperating with other local governments, globally, in this endeavour. What are the key lessons learned from the implementation of collaborative development projects related to social inclusion? Drawing on cases of municipal partnerships between local governments in Sweden and Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as on development projects led by participants in training programmes supported by the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD), this chapter highlights the importance of mobilizing broad support, raising awareness for reform initiatives, and strengthening local government capacity. The projects studied also highlight the value of partnerships, not only for generating new ideas and knowledge, but also for reform initiatives to gain added momentum from being part of global development agendas such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.


Social inclusion Local government Municipal partnership Capacity building State-civil society collaboration Knowledge transfer 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD)VisbySweden

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