The Social Policy Forum is a Boğaziçi University research center founded in 2004 to support scientific research and the training of researchers in areas pertaining to social policies and social inequalities and to contribute to the social policymaking process through empirical research.
The Forum takes a human rights approach to social policy that is interdisciplinary: social policies are examined in their historical, economic, political and social contexts. It encourages comparative research, particularly in studies where social policy developments in Turkey are examined in the broader context of European or global trends.
The Forum’s research agenda encompasses the following themes:
- Social inequality, poverty and social exclusion.
- Developments in social services: health and health care, education, social care.
- Developments in the realm of labor, including employment relations and the role of labor organizations and movements.
- Pension systems, income support programs, and social assistance mechanisms.
- Policies on housing and public transport.
- Interactions between social actors and political processes in social policymaking.
- The impact of a wide range of international and national organizations (non-governmental organizations and humanitarian and philanthropic organizations) on social policies and their role in social policymaking.
- The study of social policies from the perspective of human rights frameworks, including but not limited to gender equality, disability rights and children's rights.
The Forum encourages young researchers to engage in the global research agenda and global and domestic debates on social policies and social inequalities. It fosters close collaboration between experienced researchers and doctoral and master’s students in a wide range of social science disciplines. To facilitate achieving these aims, the Social Policy Forum and the United Kingdom’s Social Policy Association agreed to a formal International Affiliation in 2018. The Forum also signed a three-year international partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights in 2018.
The Social Policy Forum provides information to raise awareness among the general public, academia and the intellectual community, the media, policymakers, and practitioners about recent global developments and debates on social policies and social inequalities. It organizes seminars, workshops and roundtables that engage students, academics, policymakers and NGO representatives to discuss topical social policy developments and social inequalities and to share its research findings.