This paper addresses several ambiguities in the social exclusion literature that fuel the common criticism that the concept is redundant with respect to already existing poverty approaches, particularly more multidimensional and processual approaches such as relative or capability deprivation. It is argued that these ambiguities arise from the fact that social exclusion is generally not differentiated from poverty, even though it is widely acknowledged that social exclusion can occur in the absence of poverty. In order to resolve these ambiguities, I propose a re-conceptualisation of social exclusion in a way that is not grounded with reference to norms and thus is not dependent on poverty for definition. Social exclusion is defined as structural, institutional or agentive processes of repulsion or obstruction.

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Keywords conflict, polarisation, social exclusion, theoretical ambiguities
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Fischer, A.M.. (2008). Resolving the Theoretical Ambiguities of Social Exclusion with reference to Polarisation and Conflict. London School of Economics and Political Science. Development Studies Institute. Working Paper Series. Retrieved from