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The III events bring some of the world's biggest academic names to the LSE to explore the challenge of global inequality. See below for upcoming events.

Upcoming Events 

Pawel Bukowski - 15th October

Between Communism and Capitalism: long-term inequality in Poland, 1892-2015
Inequalities Seminar Series

Tuesday 15th October, 12.30 to 1.45pm, FAW 9.05

Speaker: Pawel Bukowski (Research Officer, LSE)

How has Polish inequality evolved between communism and capitalism to reach one of the highest levels in Europe today? To address this question, we construct the first series on the long-term distribution of income in Poland by combining tax, household survey and national accounts data. We document a U-shaped evolution of inequalities from the end of the 19th century until today: (i) inequality was high before WWII; (ii) abruptly fell after the introduction of communism in 1947 and stagnated at low levels during the whole communist period; (iii) experienced a sharp rise with the return to capitalism in 1989. Between 1989 and 2015 the top 10% income share increased from 23% to 35% and the top 1% income share from 4% to 13%. Frequently quoted Poland’s transition success has largely benefited top income groups.

We find that inequality was high in the first half of the 20th century due to strong concentration of capital income at the top of the distribution. The secular fall after WW2 was largely to a combination of capital income shocks from war destructions with communist policies both eliminating private ownership and forcing wage compression. The rise of inequality after the return to capitalism in the early 1990s was induced both by the rise of top labour and capital incomes. We attribute this to labour market liberalisation and privatisation. However, the strong rise in inequality in the 2000s was driven solely by the increase in top capital incomes, which is likely related to current globalization forces. Yet overall, the unique Polish inequality history speaks about the central role of policies and institutions in shaping inequality in the long run.

Christian Ambrosius - 16th October

Collective Remittances and Mobilisation against crime in Mexico
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 16th October, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speakers: Christian Ambrosius 
(Freie Universität Berlin & UNAM) and Covadonga Meseguer (LSE & ICADE)

Professor Branko Milanovic

Capitalism, Alone: the future of the system that rules the world
Public Event

Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Old Theatre

Speaker: Professor Branko Milanovic (Visiting Presidential Professor and LIS Senior Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Chair: Minouche Shafik (Director of LSE)

We are all capitalists now. For the first time in human history, the globe is dominated by one economic system. In his book Capitalism, Alone, which he will discuss in this lecture, economist Branko Milanovic explains the reasons for this decisive historical shift since the days of feudalism and, later, communism.

Surveying the varieties of capitalism, he asks: What are the prospects for a fairer world now that capitalism is the only game in town? His conclusions are sobering, but not fatalistic. Branko Milanovic explains how capitalism gets much wrong, but also much right—and it is not going anywhere. Our task is to improve it.

Branko Milanovic (@BrankoMilan) is Visiting Presidential Professor and LIS Senior Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He will join the International Inequalities Institute at LSE in 2020 as Centennial Professor.

Minouche Shafik is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. An economist by training, Dame Minouche Shafik has spent most of her career straddling the worlds of public policy and academia. After completing her BSc in economics and politics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, she took an MSc in economics at LSE before completing a DPhil in economics at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. 


Professor Cathie-Jo Martin

Imagine All The People: literature, society and cross-national variation in education systems
Public Event

Monday 28th October 2019, 6.30 to 8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre 

Speaker: Professor Cathie-Jo Martin (Professor at Boston University and Director, BU Center for the Study of Europe)

Chair: Professor David Soskice (Professor of Political Science and Economics and Fellow of the British Academy Department of Government and III Research Theme Convenor)

Cathie-Jo Martin examines differences in literary narratives on education, the individual and society, and its influence on education policy choices in Britain and Denmark.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEKnowledge.

Tom Kemeny

Superstar Cities and Left-behind Places: A long-run perspective on U.S. interregional inequality
Inequalities Seminar Series

Tuesday 29th October 2019, 12.30 to 1.45pm, FAW 9.05

Speaker: Dr Tom Kemeny (Visiting Fellow at the LSE International Inequalities Institute)

Around 1980, interregional income inequality in the US began to grow, as it did in a wide range of other countries. In the US, some people moved to opportunity, newly concentrated in a limited subset of urbanized locations, but overall migration rates shrunk. As a consequence, many Americans have become stuck in places that offer few opportunities. This shift is economically important, and it also appears to be related to the recent upsurge in populist politics. And yet divergence is not a constant or necessary feature of the space-economy. Indeed, it strongly contrasts with patterns experienced during the mid-20th century, where people were more mobile and gaps between places diminished. And partly because many of our core theories of urban growth and change are premised on the record of this earlier period, we face real challenges to explain what we see today, and to design policies that address the fallout. All of this points to an urgent need to (a) better understand the current moment, and in light of this (b) retheorize urban growth. In my talk, I will attempt to do both. I will propose a ‘structural’ theory featuring regular, alternating patterns of convergence and divergence. Major, disruptive technology shocks – or industrial revolutions – regulate this ‘wave’ pattern, increasing the gaps between places, and then later diminishing them. I will sketch mechanisms that could generate these facts, and provide descriptive evidence in support of these ideas by analyzing information on US regional economies since 1860.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEKnowledge.


Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It
Public Event

Friday 8th November 2019, 6.30 to 8pm, Old Theatre

Speaker: Professor Heather Boushey (President of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and former Chief Economist for Hillary Clinton)

Chair: Dr Tahnee Ooms (Researcher, III)

Do we have to choose between equality and prosperity? Many think that reducing economic inequality would require such heavy-handed interference with market forces that it would stifle economic growth. Heather Boushey, one of Washington’s most influential economic voices, insists nothing could be further from the truth. Presenting cutting-edge economics with journalistic verve, she shows how rising inequality has become a drag on growth and an impediment to a competitive United States marketplace for employers and employees alike.

Boushey makes this case with a clear, accessible tour of the best of contemporary economic research, while also injecting a passion for her subject gained through years of research into the economics of work–life conflict and policy work in the trenches of federal government. Unbound exposes deep problems in the U.S. economy, but its conclusion is optimistic. We can preserve the best of our nation’s economic and political traditions, and improve on them, by pursuing policies that reduce inequality—and by doing so, boost broadly shared economic growth.

Heather Boushey (@HBoushey) is President and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and former Chief Economist on Hillary Clinton’s transition team. She is the author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict and coeditor of After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (both from Harvard). The New York Times has called Boushey one of the “most vibrant voices in the field” and Politico twice named her one of the top 50 “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.”

Dr Tahnee Ooms is a researcher at the International Inequalities Institute working on the research theme 'Wealth, Elites and Tax Justice' led by III Director Prof Mike Savage. Her research focusses on how capital incomes feed back into rising overall income and wealth inequality, with a specific focus on the measurement of economic inequality using quantitative methods

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWealth

Isabel Shutes

Beyond the Borders of the Welfare State: civil society responses to the migration crisis in greece
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 13th November, 1 to 2pm, FAW 9.05

Speaker: Dr Isabel Shutes (Department of Social Policy, LSE)

The presentation draws on research carried out with Armine Ishkanian on civil society responses to the migration crisis in Greece. It forms one of two papers based on this research (the other will be presented in this seminar series in Lent Term).

The paper examines how transnational practices to meet the needs of people on the move emerge in relation to state systems for governing migration and welfare, focusing on the experiences of civil society actors in Greece in the context of the migration crisis. The movement of people across nation-state borders has brought about increasing attention to the transnational dimensions of welfare, including strategies for meeting the needs of people on the move. However, there has been limited attention to the experiences of the different actors engaged in these processes, including civil society. At the same time, approaches to understanding the transnational have tended to focus on activities across the territorial borders of one state and another. The ways in which transnational practices take shape in relation to the nation-state has been underexplored. The paper draws on the findings of interviews with people engaged in different types of civil society organisations and activities in Greece during and since the 2015 period of the migration crisis. Transnational practices to meet the needs of people on the move in this context can be understood as working within the framework of the nation-state as well as attempting to counter that framework in relation to migration and welfare. Concurrently, civil society actions were, in part, experienced as a crisis of the state in failing to address the needs of both mobile and non-mobile populations. 

Isabel Shutes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy at LSE. Her research examines the interactions of migration and social policies; social divisions and inequalities relating to citizenship and immigration status, and the implications for access to and experiences of work, care and social provision. Her research engages with different actors in migration and social policy processes, including state and civil society actors, and different groups of mobile people. 


Who Cares in a Shrinking State? Responsibility and Respectability Reconsidered
Inequalities Seminar Series

Tuesday 19th November 2019, 12.30 to 4.00pm (12.30-1.45 & a further workshop from 2.15 til 4pm), FAW 9.05

Speakers: Professor Mary Evans (Mary Evans is LSE Centennial Professor at the Department of Gender Studies), Professor Beverley Skeggs (III Research Theme Convenor and AFSEE Academic Advisor International Inequalities Institute), Dr Insa Koch (Associate Professor of Law, LSE Law).

Sehnbruch 3

Looking at Labour Markets from a Multidimensional Perspective: the quality of employment in South America
Public Event

Tuesday 19th November, 6:30 to 8.00pm, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch (British Academy Global Professor at III), Professor Andres Velasco (Dean of the School of Public Policy)

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch (@Kirst_inChile) is British Academy Global Professor and Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE.

Professor Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is the Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Precarious Refuge: ethnonationalism and the politics of housing refugees
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 27th November, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speaker: Dr Romola Sanyal (Urban Geography, LSE)

The idea of refuge is an inherently geographical one- a shelter from danger or distress, a place of protection. It is also imbued with a certain temporality- the expectation that such shelter will be temporary and those who seek it will eventually leave. Such assumptions carry into contemporary approaches and attitudes towards displaced persons. Although encouraged to provide them with a range of rights from shelter to employment, health and education, few countries around the world offer these to displaced persons, especially in countries with limited resources or where citizens themselves are unable to access these basic services. As crises become more protracted, the inability to access appropriate employment, to gain property rights all affect the ability of displaced people to achieve meaningful and dignified futures. Instead they inhabit a precarious present. Restricting access to such rights becomes a way for host states to delineate between citizens and the ‘other’ often using or creating ethnic and national distinctions. In this talk I examine how housing becomes intertwined with ethnonationalism and becomes a means of producing cleavages between stateless people, refugees on the one hand and citizens on the other and how local communities participate and challenge such narratives.

Dr Romola Sanyal is Associate Professor in Urban Geography at the LSE. Her work focuses on forced migration and urbanization. She has worked primarily in the Middle East and South Asia. She has published numerous articles on the topic across different disciplinary journals including Geography, Planning and Sociology. She is the co-editor (with Dr Renu Desai) of Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities (Sage 2011) and has a forthcoming co-edited book with Dr Silvia Pasquetti titled Displacement: Global Conversations on Refuge (Manchester University Press). She is currently working on a research project on Humanitarian Urbanism studying the production of urban policy making amongst humanitarian actors. 


Can Social Policy work in dysfunctional Labour Markets?
Public Event

Thursday 28th November 2019, 6.30 to 8pm, Hong Kong Theatre

Speakers: Professor Dante Contreras (Professor at the University of Chile and Director of the COES), Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch (British Academy Global Professor and Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

Chair: David Soskice (School Professor of Political Science and Economics and Research Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE)

Can social security systems based on individual savings accounts work in developing countries with precarious labour markets?

Social protection systems based on individual savings have been instituted in several developing countries as a fiscally prudent alternative to traditional welfare states. Chile was one of the first countries to implement a pension system based on individual savings accounts, and has subsequently also established an unemployment insurance mechanism with a similar structure. Using administrative data, this discussion will examine how the insurance system works in terms of coverage and levels of benefits received by unemployed workers, and asked the question of whether such systems can actually protect vulnerable workers in developing countries with precarious labour markets.

Dante Contreras is Professor at the University of Chile and Director of the COES.

Kirsten Sehnbruch (@Kirst_inChile) is British Academy Global Professor and Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE.

David Soskice is School Professor of Political Science and Economics and Research Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEKnowledge.

Aaron Reeves 2

Aristocratic, Highbrow and Ordinary:  shifting modes of elite distinction 1897-2016
Inequalities Seminar Series

Tuesday 3rd December 2019, 12.30 to 1.45, FAW 9.05

Speakers: Dr Sam Friedman (Associate Professor Department of Sociology), Dr Aaron Reeves (Visiting Senior Fellow International Inequalities Institute)

Chair: Nora Ratzmann (PhD candidate Department of Social Policy)

How do elites signal their superior social position through the consumption of culture? In this paper we answer this foundational question by drawing on 120 years of ‘recreations’ data (N = 71,393) contained within Who’s Who – a unique catalogue of the British elite. Our results reveal three distinct stages of elite culture. First, a dominant mode of aristocratic practice forged around the leisure possibilities afforded by landed estates which waned significantly in the late 19th century. Second, a highbrow mode dominated by the fine arts which increased sharply in the early 20th century before gently receding in the most recent birth cohorts; and, third, a contemporary mode characterised by the blending of highbrow pursuits with more everyday forms of cultural participation, such as spending time with family, friends and pets. These shifts not only reveal changes in the contents of elite culture but also in the nature of elite distinction – in particular; 1) how the applicability of emulation and misrecognition theories has changed over time, 2) the emergence of a contemporary mode that publicly emphasises everyday cultural practice (to accentuate ordinariness, authenticity and cultural connection) while at the same time retaining many tastes that continue to be misrecognised as legitimate.  

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWealth.


Role Playing Racism: history teaching and the limits of experiential learning
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 11th December 2019, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speaker: Dr Chana Teeger (Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology)

This paper points to the limits of experiential learning when dealing with issues of racism and discrimination. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in a racially diverse South African high school, I document how teachers employed simulations and role playing exercises to teach about apartheid. Teachers argued that these would help build historical empathy. However, not only did the simulations fail to capture the actual costs of being black—or the privileges of being white— during apartheid, but they also reinforced the notion that racial stratification was separate and distinct from students’ current situations. Through the simulations, apartheid was presented as a system that has no legacy. Connections were not drawn between the past system and the present context, which students might recognize as real and familiar. The simulations thus ironically served to delegitimize black students’ claims about ongoing racism at school and in the broader society.

Dr Chana Teeger is an assistant professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics. She completed her PhD in Sociology at Harvard University. Prior to joining the LSE, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Johannesburg. Her research broadly examines how individuals make sense of inequality and has appeared in venues such as the American Sociological Review, Sociology of Education, and Social Forces. She is currently working on a book manuscript that documents how the history of apartheid is taught to—and understood by—young South Africans. 


Previous Events


picture of Carey Oppenheim

Parents, Poverty and the State  
Public Event

10th October, 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Naomi Eisenstadt (Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute), Carey Oppenheim (Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute), Ryan Shorthouse (Director of Bright Blue) Matthew Taylor (Chief Exec of RSA)

Chair: Professor John Hills (Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy)

What do children need from parents, how is poverty a barrier to meeting needs, and what has Government done – and should do – about it?

Naomi Eisenstadt and Carey Oppenheim explore the radical changes in public attitudes and public policy concerning parents and parenting. Drawing on research and their extensive experience of working at senior levels of government, the authors of this new book, Parents, Poverty and the State: 20 Years of Evolving Family Policy, challenge expectations about what parenting policy on its own can deliver.

Naomi Eisenstadt is Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE. Naomi is currently deputy chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission for Scotland. She has recently published Life Chances of Young People in Scotland for the Scottish Government and in January 2016 published Shifting the Curve, identifying fifteen recommendations that could significantly reduce poverty in Scotland. After a long career in the NGO sector, in 1999 Naomi became the first Director of the Sure Start Unit. The Unit was responsible for delivering the British Government’s commitment to free nursery education places for all three and four year olds, the national childcare strategy, and Sure Start, a major programme aiming to reduce the gap in outcomes between children living in disadvantaged areas and the wider child population. After Sure Start, Naomi spent 3 years as the Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force working across government to identify and promote policies to address the needs of traditionally excluded groups.

Carey Oppenheim (@CareyOppenheim) is Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE. She is also an independent consultant. She recently stepped down from her role as the first Chief Executive of the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), a charity and What Works Evidence Centre. She is now an associate of the EIF. Her previous roles include being Co-director of the Institute of Public Policy Research between 2007-2010.  She was Special Advisor to the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair MP, in the Number 10 Policy Unit between 2000 and 2005. She worked closely with Ministers, civil servants and stakeholders on child poverty and children’s rights, work-life balance, social security and employment policy. Carey is an alumna of LSE.

Ryan Shorthouse (@RyanShorthouse) is the Founder and Chief Executive of Bright Blue. He founded the organisation in 2010 and finally became the full-time Chief Executive at the start of 2014. Ryan’s research focuses on education and social policy. Many of his policy ideas have been adopted by the UK Government over the past decade. He appears regularly in the national press and broadcast media.

Matthew Taylor (@RSAMatthew) has been Chief Executive of the RSA since November 2006. In July 2017 Matthew published the report ‘Good Work’; an independent review into modern employment, commissioned by the UK Prime Minister. Matthew’s previous roles include Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister, and Chief Executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the UK’s leading left of centre think tank. Matthew is a regular media performer, having presented several Radio Four documentaries, and is a panellist on the programme Moral Maze. He is Senior Editor of the Thames & Hudson Big Ideas series.

Professor John Hills is Chair of CASE and Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at LSE.

This event is hosted with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and held as part of the new III research theme Economies of Global Care, led by Professor Beverley Skeggs.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECare

Bev Skeggs

Combatting Inequality: tackling unfairness in wealth, jobs and care
Public Event

7th October, 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers: Professor Mike Savage (Director, International Inequalities Institute, III Research Theme Convenor), Professor Beverley Skeggs (III Research Theme Convenor and AFSEE Academic Advisor), Professor David Soskice (III Research Theme Convenor, School Professor of Political Science and Economics) 

Chair: Professor Ellen Helsper (Professor in Digital Inequalities, Department of Media and Communications, LSE)

The III is celebrating its fourth year of work by launching three new themes which focus our work in the areas where we see the issue of inequality debate taking on new intensity and importance. The three theme leaders will each introduce their themes and explain their importance, leading to a panel discussion. Mike Savage will lay out how analyses of inequality require us to engage with wealth as well as income inequality, and how this points to the power of elites. Beverley Skeggs will reflect on how care work is a crucial part of the global economy, and how inequalities of race, gender and class are bound up with its global chains. David Soskice will discuss how cities are becoming central loci of inequality and how we need to understand better how processes of segregation are related to transformations in the knowledge economy. This event will therefore introduce the future work of the III and will be a great opportunity to learn more about the gravity of inequality challenges today. 

Guy Standing - 2nd October

Plunder of the Commons: a manifesto for sharing public wealth
Public Event

2nd October, 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Professor Guy Standing (Professorial Research Associate at SOAS)

Discussants: Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Rt Hon Caroline Lucas MP

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (Director, International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

Accelerated by Margaret Thatcher and then even more so in the austerity era, our Commons have been depleted illegitimately. The commons belong to all commoners, and include the natural resources, inherited social amenities and services, our cultural inheritance, the institutions of civil common law and the knowledge commons. The rights of commoners were first established in the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest in 1217.

This presentation will draw on a new book to show how all forms of commons have been taken in the neo-liberal era, through enclosure, commodification, privatisation and, most shockingly, colonisation. It will highlight how this has increased inequality. It will conclude by outlining the key components of a 44-Article Charter of the Commons that could be an integrated part of an ecologically progressive politics in Britain and elsewhere.      

Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, and a founder and co-President of BIEN. His new book is Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth

David Lammy (@DavidLammy) is Labour MP for Tottenham.

Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) is MP for Brighton Pavilion. She served as leader of the Green Party of England and Wales from 2008-2012, and co-leader from 2016-2018.

Mike Savage (@MikeSav47032563) is Martin White Professor of Sociology at LSE and Director of the International Inequalities Institute.

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWealth.

Mike Savage - 7th October

The Life and Times of Categorical Inequality: class, gender and race in long term historical perspective Inequalities Seminar Series

1st October, 12.30 to 1.45pm, FAW 9.05

: Professor Mike Savage (Director, International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

Chair: Dr Luna Glucksberg (Research Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute)

This talk will reflect on the current ‘state of the debate’ about inequality. Although inequality is increasingly widely recognised to be a major concern which requires the kind of interdisciplinary initiatives that the III facilitates, a number of major challenges have come to the fore. This talk will reflect on one of these, how to link analyses of income and wealth distributions, which the economists have brought to the fore, with the categorical analyses of gender, race and class which other social scientists emphasise, and which raise major questions of political action. Drawing  on Mike Savage's forthcoming book, The challenge of inequality: social change and the return of history I will speculatively lay out recent trends in inequality along axes of gender, race and class to show how they both disrupt, but also might empower, an overarching account of the intensification of inequalities.

Beverley Skeggs (3)Ai-jen Poo


Caring Forward: the global care economy and its future               LSE Public Event - Free ticketed event 

20th June, 6:30- 7:45pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building 

Speaker: Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance)

Chair: Professor Beverley Skeggs (LSE, III)

Book tickets for this event.

Care work is “the work that makes all other work possible”, US labour organiser Ai-jen Po reminds us. As the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, she is driving transformative change on a global scale in the way we value care work.

We have a complex relationship with care work. It sustains us and our entire global economy, but we often forget to consider who provides care and at what cost. Community organising, local and global campaigns, and efforts led by researchers, creatives and international organisations are focusing increasing attention on the alarming inequalities (re)produced by the global care economy. How can we challenge the conditions of precarity experienced by so many care workers around the world? How can we care forward together?

In this public event, Ai-jen Poo sets out a vision for a more equitable care economy for all.


SudhirAnandamartya -senMike Savage

Global Health and Inequality                                                                  LSE Public Event - Ticketed event 

18th June, 6:30- 8:00pm, Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: Professor Sudhir Anand (Harvard University and LSE, III) and Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University) 

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (LSE, III)

To ensure that people live long and healthy lives it is important to know what kills different groups of people in different places. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) based on the Disability-Adjusted Life Year has been developed to do this. This lecture shows how this measure leads to various anomalies and biases, in particular it underestimates the health problems experienced by women and children.



Katharina Hecht 1

Can public consensus identify a ‘riches line’?                                  Inequalities Seminar Series 

21st May12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Speakers:  Dr Katharina Hecht (LSE, III) and Abigail Davis (Loughborough University)

While frequently discussed in the media and in popular discourse, so far not much attention has been paid to defining, and analysing public views towards, ‘the rich’ or ‘riches’ in the social sciences. In addition to addressing a gap in our research knowledge, this pilot study addresses an urgent everyday issue, at a time in which resources accruing to the very rich are ever-increasing, while many are suffering the consequences of austerity policies, including extreme food and housing insecurity.

There is a well-established research tradition that aims to build a definition of a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) based on public consensus. Our novel study seeks to draw on public consensus methods, but deploy them at the other end of the income and wealth distributions, to understand how ‘riches’ or ‘the rich’ might be defined.

The study is a first step in exploring whether members of the public in London can reach a consensus about whether there is a threshold above which people could be considered to have too much, akin to how a poverty line signifies a threshold below which people do not have enough. Specifically, it aims to analyse whether a negotiated consensus among groups of members of the public on different levels of income, can develop such a concept. The findings provide novel insights into people’s views on what it means to have high levels of income and wealth and what different levels of richness entail (description), as well as unpacking people’s judgements about different forms of wealth and the uses to which it is put (normative evaluation). 


Maria Ana LugoBranko MilanovicPaul

The Global Distribution of Income and the Politics of Globalisation - embedded Liberal Capitalism                                                                  Public Lecture

Speakers: María Ana Lugo (Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank);  Professor Branko Milanovic (City University of New York); and Dr Paul Segal (Department of International Development, Kings College London)

Chair: Professor David Soskice (International Inequalities Institute, LSE) 

The panel discuss the evolution of the global distribution of income and political implications, highlighting endogenous forces of rising inequality in liberal capitalism embedded in globalisation.

The last quarter century of globalisation has witnessed the largest reshuffle of global incomes since the Industrial Revolution. The global Gini index declined by about 2 points over the twenty-five year period 1988-2013, while within the global distribution of income three changes stand out. First, China has graduated from the bottom ranks, creating an important global “middle” class that has transformed a twin-peaked 1988 global distribution into the single-peaked distribution we observe today. The main “winners” were country-deciles that in 1988 were around the median of the global income distribution, 90% of them representing people in Asia. Second, the “losers” were the country-deciles that in 1988 were around the 85th percentile of the global income distribution, almost 90% of them representing people in OECD economies. Third, the global top 1% was another “winner” whose incomes rose substantially.

These three changes open up the following three political issues. In the developing world the big question is how to manage the rising expectations of meaningful political participation in emerging countries like China. In the rich countries, it is how to "placate" the relative losers of the last 30 years so that they do not turn away from globalisation and towards populist anti-immigrant policies. Cutting across all countries, and directly implicated in both of these questions, is how to constraint the rising economic and political power of the global elite. The increasing gap between the Western “top 1 percenters” and the middle classes that is at the origin of many of recent political development may not be a temporary glitch, but may be driven by endogenous forces of rising inequality in systems of liberal capitalism embedded in globalisation.



The open-and-shut case of inequality                                                  Inequalities Seminar Series

7th May, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Speaker: Dr Jan Vandemoortele

The latest evidence shows that people in countries with low inequality are amongst the happiest and healthiest. In those countries, economic growth, education and social mobility tend to be high, whilst social ills such as gender discrimination, crime, fraud, corruption, alcohol and drugs abuse, bullying at school are less. People there tend to use less water, produce less waste and emit less CO2; thus leaving a smaller ecological footprint. Hence, the world is not facing two separate challenges, one ecological and the other socioeconomic; but one complex and inter-connected challenge in which inequality plays a central role. The impact of inequality on how people feel, reason and act is grossly underestimated. The first step in reducing inequality is to fully understand its harmful effects, rather than to deepen our analysis of its causes and potential remedies. The article aims to contribute to such increased awareness. It draws together the latest evidence from a wide range of disciplines. It clarifies four conceptual dichotomies that are important in elucidating the debate about inequality. It reviews the concerns expressed by historians, philosophers and political scientists about inequality. In concluding, it makes a concrete proposal for enhancing our comprehension of the impact of inequality.


Katrín Jakobsdóttirminouche-shafik

The Politics of Equality, the "Populist Moment" and the Power of New Technologies                                                                                      Public Lecture - Hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs, International Inequalities Institute and Systemic Risk Centre

2 May, 6:30pm to 8:00pm


Speaker: Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Prime Minister of Iceland)

Chair: Minouche Shafik  (Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science)

Katrín Jakobsdóttir will discuss democratic challenges stemming from social inequalities, authoritarian politics and new technologies.

Insecurities generated by globalisation, migration, and transformative technologies have created new societal divisions in liberal democracies and exacerbated the dislocation between personal identities and political loyalties. Since the Great Recession, the populist/authoritarian Right has profited from this trend, which has been accompanied by a critique of contemporary politics as being too technocratic and distant from the people. In her talk, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, will argue that a renewed focus on the politics of equality is needed to respond to authoritarian tendencies and to the social challenges posed by the “fourth industrial revolution.“ Referring to her own political experience and to various forms of collective action – such as the #metoo movement – she makes the case for a democratic renewal based on social justice, gender equality and the green economy.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir (@katrinjak) has been the Prime Minister of Iceland since November 2017 and the Leader of the Left-Green Movement since 2013. She is Iceland’s second female Prime Minister and served as Minister of Education, Science and Culture as well as Minister for Nordic Cooperation from 2009 to 2013.  

Minouche Shafik is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.




Bird la Bird’s Travelling Queer People’s History Show

A revolutionary exploration of the deep queer past that will change the way you think about LGBTI history.

Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE

Bird la Bird’s Travelling Queer People’s History Show starts in the vast prison that once stood on the site of today’s Tate Britain, and lovingly traces the lives of queer prisoners across centuries and around the British Empire. It decolonises LGTBI history by taking an inclusive, irreverent approach to the past.

Register online via Eventbrite for a free ticket. You MUST show your ticket (printed, pdf, or email) to gain access. Please arrive early to ensure your place. The performance will be followed by a reception at the venue from 8pm to 9pm.



Danny DorlingSallyTomlinsonGurminderKBhambraBeverley+Skeggs+(3)

Inequality, Brexit and the End of Empire                                                   Public Event

Speakers: Professor Danny Dorling  (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford); Professor Sally Tomlinson (Department of Education, University of Oxford and Goldsmiths, University of London); Professor Gurminder K Bhambra (International Relations, International Development, University of Sussex).

Chair: Professor Beverley Skeggs (Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, III, LSE)

29th March, 6:30 - 8:00pm, LSE Old Theatre, Old Building

Was the result of the 2016 EU referendum the last gasp of a view of empire based on nostalgia? And on 29 March 2019, as it officially ceases to become a member of the European Union, will post-Brexit Britain be a nation willing to inhabit the world of the present instead of the past?

Join us on Brexit Night as four eminent scholars turn their attention to often overlooked elements in the story – Britain’s past imperial might, jingoism, mythmaking and racism; deep-set anxieties about change and conflicting visions of the future – and the possibility of an unexpected outcome, namely that its shock to the national system may slow or even reverse the decades-long rise of inequality.

Sally Tomlinson and Danny Dorling will draw on insights from their new book, Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire, published by Biteback.

This event is supported by the Progressive Economy Forum (@PEF_online). PEF brings together a Council of eminent economists and academics to develop and advocate progressive economic policy ideas, and to improve public understanding of key economic issues.


Mark Fransham

A tale of two towns: what the fortunes of Oldham and Oxford tell us about spatial inequality in Britain                   Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Mark Fransham (International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

26th March, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Britain has a long history of a north-south divide in social and economic outcomes, with longstanding concerns about the British economy being over-reliant on London and the South East whilst the rest of the country lags behind.  The EU referendum vote threw this into sharp relief, illuminating another split between the diverse, young, metropolitan centres and the smaller towns with industrial heritage.  This divide partly reflects the geography of the 'knowledge economy' labour market, in which concentrations of skilled workers and high-wage industries in prosperous cities are increasingly seen as the driver of national economic prosperity. 

Using a novel economic geography classification, this presentation explores trends in social and economic inequalities within and between areas of Britain, including the north-south divide and differences between core cities and peripheral towns.  It illustrates this by updating a 1994 study of Oldham and Oxford, towns in the north and south of England respectively that had experienced a rapid decline in manufacturing employment.  The study showed that as income inequalities increased during the 1980s, so there were corresponding patterns of increased spatial polarisation in Oldham, though less so in Oxford.  This presentation examines the fortunes of these two towns in the 25 years since, setting them in the wider context of trends in spatial inequalities within and between places across Britain. 


Erica Lagalisse 2

Occult Features of Anarchism: with attention to the conspiracy of kings and the conspiracy of the peoples                                                  Public Event

Speaker: Dr Erica Lagalisse  (International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

20th March, 6:30- 8:00pm, LSE Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Erica Lagalisse explores the relationship of 19th century anarchism with the clandestine fraternity, challenges leftist attachments to atheism, and intervenes in current debates concerning “conspiracy theory”.

In the nineteenth century anarchists were accused of conspiracy by governments afraid of revolution, but in the current century various “conspiracy theories” suggest that anarchists are controlled by government itself. The Illuminati were a network of intellectuals who argued for self-government and against private property, yet the public is now often told that they were (and are) the very group that controls governments and defends private property around the world. Intervening in such misinformation, Lagalisse works with primary and secondary sources in multiple languages to set straight the history of the Left and will illustrate the actual relationship between revolutionism, pantheistic occult philosophy, and the clandestine fraternity.

Exploring hidden correspondences between anarchism, Renaissance magic, and New Age movements, Erica Lagalisse also advances critical scholarship regarding leftist attachments to secular politics. Inspired by anthropological fieldwork within today’s anarchist movements, challenging anarchist atheism insofar as it poses practical challenges for coalition politics in today’s world.

Studying anarchism as a historical object, Lagalisse will show how the development of leftist theory and practice within clandestine masculine public spheres continues to inform contemporary anarchist understandings of the “political,” in which men’s oppression by the state becomes the prototype for power in general, how gender and religion become privatized in radical counterculture, a historical process intimately linked to the privatization of gender and religion by the modern nation-state.


Ana Gutierrez

Reconfiguring notions of whiteness among Latin American migrants in London and Madrid                                                           Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Ana Gutierrez (University of Oxford, Department of Anthropology)  

20th March, 12.15-1.15pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

In Latin America race plays a fundamental role in the process whereby people position themselves and others within the social pyramid. This is reflected in the fact that those who belong to the elite are white, while the poor and the working class are considered black or indigenous. These racial identifications are intertwined with class identification and the traits that compose one’s social class: dress, language, occupation, education and place of residence. While working with Latin American migrants in London and Madrid, I encountered some vestiges of these ideologies and witnessed the intertwinement that persists between race, race mixture, and class among my informants. Although migrants try to use any hint of whiteness in order to differentiate themselves from other non-white migrants, they find themselves struggling to sustain their middle-class aspirations – deeply influenced by white racial (Eurocentric) attachments and identifications - within precarious lives. Migration presents itself as a paradox that affects not only economic dreams, but previous racial and class identifications. 


18_10 Analji Sarker_Final-118_10 Kripa Kasnyat_Final-2

From Mobile Banking to Collective Action: Portraits of Gender Inequalities in Bangladesh and Nepal

AFSEE seminar series

19th March, 12.30-1.30pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Speakers: Kripa Basnyat and Anjali Sarker, Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

What are the key challenges in achieving gender equity in South Asia? The speakers consider commonalities and contrasts between their native countries of Nepal and Bangladesh, through the lenses of financial and social inclusion.




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Foundations of State Effectiveness                                             Hosted by the Amartya Sen lecture series, STICERD and the International Inequalities Institute

Speaker: Professor Sir Tim Besley (School Professor of Economics of Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE)

Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen (Thomas W Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University) 

Chair: Minouche Shafik (Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England)

13th March, 6:30 -8:00pm, LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building     

An effective state promotes freedom and the well-being of its citizens.  This lecture will discuss the importance of norms, values and institutions in supporting state effectiveness drawing on recent developments in social science.  As well as making connections to Amartya Sen’s ideas, the lecture will reflect on some of the major policy challenges that the world faces in the turbulent times that we are living through.


Erica Lagalisse 2

Adventures in Anarcolandia: the complexities and contradictions of transnational anarchist social movements       Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Erica Lagalisse (International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

12th March, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Contemporary anarchist activists aim to manifest non-hierarchical social relations within their own social milieu, as well as topple the social hierarchies that characterize the dominant society, such as white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism: Anarchists observe the importance of “means” matching “ends” and work to bring about “a new world in the shell of the old”. I argue however that anarchist activism in North America does not entirely subvert the logic of neoliberalism. Colonial property relations, bureaucratic legalism, and statistical fantasies of the sovereign state (among other linear equations) continue to inflect anarchist politics and self-making projects: the rhizome is re-territorialized.

My multi-sited ethnography explores anarchist networks that cross Québec, the United States and Mexico to demonstrate how anarchist practice is mired in contradiction, especially to the extent that this practice is shaped by notions of self and property (propriety) dominant in English-speaking North America. My comparative study illustrates similarities and differences among diverse anarchist scenes, throwing into relief the particular practices of university-educated Anglo American leftists, and draws on anthropological, feminist and critical race theory to show how they have preempted the black feminist challenge of “intersectionality” by recuperating its praxis within the logic of neoliberal self-making projects and property relations, a particular economy of value in which certain identities are foregrounded and others—especially that of class—are effectively concealed. Ultimately the anarchists are presented as a limit case: even within their “autonomous” everyday practices, the propertizing self prevails in what I call the game of “good politics” - the Bridge of all prestige games, and one which structures much contemporary critical academic scholarship as well.



Agrarian inequalities, institutional innovation and gender Can group farming provide an answer?                                                             Co-hosted with KCL India Institute                             Speaker: Professor Bina Agarwal (Development Economics and Environment, University of Manchester)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (International Inequalities Institute, LSE) 

11th March, 6.00-7.30pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.04

Based on her primary surveys, Prof. Bina Agarwal examines whether group farms—which pool land, labour and capital and cultivate jointly—can outperform (mostly male-managed) individual family farms in the same regions, in terms of productivity and profits. Can they also empower the women socially and politically? Moreover, given their different approaches, which state is more effective and why? 

With a reception from 5.30pm



Identity, Citizenship and Kin Majorities: Crimea and Moldova from the Bottom-Up                                                       Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Ellie Knott (LSE Department of Methodology) 

6th March, 12.15-1.15pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Why are so many Moldovans acquiring Romanian citizenship? How did people in Crimea identify with and engage with Russia before annexation in 2014? This talk brings together these two topics and cases to explore the intersections of identity and citizenship across borders. This talk is situated within the field of kin-state politics and analyses how individuals who are claimed as co-ethnic, such as Russians in Crimea and Romanians/Moldovans in Moldova, understand their identification and engage via citizenship and quasi-citizenship with their respective kin-states, Russia and Romania. In particular, in this talk I examine the empirics of the cases of Crimea and Moldova within a theoretical and methodological discussion to show how and why I study the intersections of the meanings of identification and practices of citizenship. I argue that it is important to move beyond state-centred and institutional understandings of citizenship and towards studying how individuals and communities on the ground engage with kin-states across borders.


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Building a Broad Movement for Economic Justice 

AFSEE seminar series

SpeakersLauren Burke and Allison Corkery, Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

5th March, 12.30-1.30pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

In this informal lunchtime seminar discussion, Lauren and Allison will discuss how the labour and human rights movements approach economic justice, teasing out similarities and differences in terms of framing and vision, knowledge and expertise, and strategy and tactics.They’ll also reflect on key debates and emerging issues within each movement and on opportunities to deepen engagement between the two.  

Lauren Burke began her career as a labour organiser with UNITE HERE, where she oversaw campaigns that won union recognition for over 1,400 hotel and food service workers in the US. Before joining AFSEE as a residential fellow for 2018-19, she worked with the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Allison Corkery, a residential AFSEE fellow for 2018-19, is Director of the Rights Claiming and Accountability programme at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) in New York, an NGO that uses international human rights law as a tool to challenge unjust economic policies.


Catherine Allerton

Migration, Mixed Marriages and Children’s Noncitizenship in Sabah, Malaysia                                    Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Catherine Allerton (LSE Department of Anthropology)

27th February, 12.15-1.15pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

In Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sabah, many children live in families of ‘mixed’ ethnicity, forged through the co-presence in the city of Filipino and Indonesian refugees and migrants. This paper will consider how mixed marriages have particular consequences for children who have been born across borders, in a country where their parents are considered only ‘temporary’ workers. Many mixed ethnicities are unique to Sabah, a product of specific histories of migration to the state. As such, they tend to root children to Sabah as a place, rather than to either parent’s sending context. However, this form of cultural citizenship is often not matched by corresponding legal citizenship, since children of migrants, even if born in Sabah, are excluded from government schooling and healthcare. The paper explores how children’s unique experiences of exclusion and noncitizenship not only reflect specific histories of immigration regulations in Malaysia, but also coexist with wider forms of cultural belonging in Sabah.



How the Reification of Merit Breeds Inequality: theory and experimental evidence                                                                                Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Fabien Accominotti (Department of Sociology, LSE)

26th February, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

In a variety of social contexts, measuring merit or performance is a crucial step toward enforcing meritocratic ideals. At the same time, workable measures are bound to obfuscate the fuzziness and ambiguity of merit, i.e. to reify performance into an artificially crisp and clear-cut thing – such as a rating for example. This talk explores how the reification of employee performance in organizations breeds inequality in employee compensation. It reports the findings of a large-scale experiment asking participants to divide a year-end bonus between a set of employees based on the reading of their annual performance reviews. In the experiment’s non-reified condition, reviews are narrative evaluations. In the reified condition, the same narrative evaluations are accompanied by a crisp rating of the employees’ performance. I show that participants reward employees more unequally when performance is reified, even though employees’ levels of performance do not vary across conditions: the bonus gap between top- and bottom-performing employees increases by 20% between the non-reified and reified conditions; and it rises by another 10% when performance is presented as a quantified score. Further analyses suggest that reification acts by making participants more accepting of the idea that individuals are indeed more or less talented and valuable, thereby increasing their willingness to reward them unequally. This has direct implications for understanding the legitimacy of inequality in contemporary societies – and ultimately for working toward curbing this inequality.



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Sure Start: celebration and reflection                                             Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

22nd February, 2-5:30pm, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

January 2019 marks twenty years since Tessa Jowell, then Public Health Minister, announced the first sixty Sure Start Trailblazer areas. In tribute to Tessa Jowell, this half-day conference will reflect on what has been learned from the evaluations of Sure Start and its successor, Children's Centres, what those involved at the time think now about the initiative, and what it has taught us as a way forward for integrated early years services. 

Tickets available here 

Speakers include:

Naomi Eisenstadt is Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE International Inequalities Institute.

Edward Melhuish is Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford, and Birkbeck, University of London and led the National Evaluation of Sure Start.

Carey Oppenheim is Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE International Inequalities Institute

Susie Owen joined the Department of Education as Deputy Director Early Years in April 2016. 

Baroness Philippa Stroud is Chair of the Social Metrics Commission and Chief Executive of the Legatum Foundation.

Kathy Sylva (@edst0026) is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford, and led the Evaluation of Children's Centres in England.

Polly Toynbee, commentator for The Guardian, is the former BBC Social Affairs Editor. She has won Commentator of the Year awards and the George Orwell prize.  


Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) is Director of the Resolution Foundation.


Professor John Hills is Chair of CASE and Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at LSE.

A document signed by Tessa and David Blunkett, then Secretary of State for Education and Employment, set out the core purpose of Sure Start:

• To reshape and add value to local services for families – mothers, fathers, grandparents, other carers and children

• To provide better and more coordinated support for them in bringing up their children

These were great promises in very optimistic times. Some strong themes stand out that still have currency: joined up services, area based rather than individual family targeting, and the importance of early years. There have been tremendous changes in the early years’ landscape in the last twenty years but commitment to young children remains.

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities)at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

The conference will be followed by a reception 


Robin Cohen

Refugia: solving the problem of mass displacement                             Public Event

Speaker: Professor Robin Cohen (Kellogg College, University of Oxford)

Chair: Dr Isabel Shutes (Social Policy, LSE) 

14th February, 6:30- 8:00pm, LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building     

Using fresh interpretations of utopian and archipelagic thinking, Robin Cohen will examine the limits and possibilities of creating an imaginative answer to mass displacement.



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Engines of Privilege: Britain's private school problem                         Public Event

Speakers: Professor Francis Green  (Institute of Education, UCL); Professor David Kynaston (Visiting Professor, Kingston University)

Discussant: Dr Luna Glucksberg (III, LSE)

11th February, 6:30- 8:00pm, LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

A rigourous, compelling and balanced examination of the British private school system and the lifetime of inequalities it entrenches.






Michela Franceschelli

 ‘Ccà semo, here we are. Lives on hold in Lampedusa’                Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

A short film screening and discussion with Michela Franceschelli

6th February, 12.15-1.15pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

The seminar will involve the screening of the short film documentary – ‘Ccà semo, here we are.  Lives on hold in Lampedusa’, followed by Q&A. This documentary was produced as part of the dissemination of a research study carried out by Michela Franceschelli (Global migration in the Mediterranean Sea and the local lives of Lampedusa), which aimed to explore the effects of global migration on local communities, drawing on an in-depth case study on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The film is directed by the Italian filmmaker Luca Vullo.

Lampedusa - Italy’s most southerly territory at 205 km off the coast of Sicily - is the first port of arrival to Europe for the thousands attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. As the number of incoming migrants has increased throughout the years, the island has turned from a mere tourist destination to a site of increasing public and media attention, with images that reify and broadcast contradictory representations of the local community of islanders. Hence, Lampedusa has been presented through these contradictions, depicted either as the island of hospitality - exemplified by the provision of essential support to migrants and campaigns for their rights - or as a site of hostility which in its context has acquired a specific meaning and has been addressed to specific actors, particularly the ‘absent Italian state’.


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The Missing Billions: Measuring Top Incomes in the UK    Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Andrew Summers (Department of Law, LSE)

5th February, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

The tax data currently used to measure top incomes in the UK only include sources that are subject to Income Tax. Sources taxed on any other basis (or not at all) disappear from statistics on income inequality: for example, much of the income arising to non-domiciled residents, all capital gains whether realised or not, and tax-exempt returns on savings and investments. I map these and other missing sources and provide evidence that they are quantitatively important for the estimation of top income shares. The effect is large because the scope of taxable income in the UK is unusually narrow, and subject to exemptions that disproportionately favour the richest; so far, no attempt has been made to correct for this in national statistics. The missing sources that I identify cast doubt on the prevailing narrative that UK income inequality has stabilised or fallen since the last financial crisis. I provide initial indications that once these sources are added, the top one percent share may be seen to have risen since 2008 and could be much closer to US levels than conventionally thought.



The Class Ceiling: why it pays to be privileged                            Public Event - Hosted by the Department of Sociology and the International Inequalities Institute

Speakers: Dr Sam Friedman (Sociology, LSE); Dr Faiza Shaheen (Director of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies); Kelly Webb-Lamb (Deputy Director of Programmes, Channel 4)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage

28th January, 6:30- 8:00pm, LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

How and why does class background still affect those in elite occupations? In this book launch the speakers look at barriers to upward mobility.


Jan-Emmanuel De NeveGrant RobertsonKatherine Trebeckdavid-soskice

Can Wellbeing Economics work?: New Zealand’s attempt to get off GDP

This will be a ticketed event on a first come first served basis. Tickets can be found  here 

Sat 26th January, 13.00-14.30, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Speakers:Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (University of Oxford); Hon Grant Robertson MP (New Zealand Minister of Finance); and Dr Katherine Trebeck (Wellbeing Economy Alliance)

Chair: Professor David Soskice (International Inequalities Institute, LSE) 

In May 2019 New Zealand will join a growing list of countries moving beyond GDP in measuring their citizen’s wellbeing and success. ‘Wellbeing economics’ involves prioritising and measuring non-growth wellbeing factors, like social and cultural wellbeing, health and environmental outcomes, and the financial security of communities. But skeptics argue the new measures are just “subjective fluff”.

New Zealand’s Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will provide an update on his coalition government's progress to implement the wellbeing economics approach ahead of its May annual Budget, along with some of the challenges to implementing the approach across a government’s budget cycle. Dr Trebeck and Dr De Neve will offer their thoughts on the wellbeing debate and what progress is being made across the globe to put people and their happiness at the centre of economics.This will be a ticketed event on a first come first served basis.


Myria Georghiou

Infinite difference, limited recognition: Digital makings of the city of refuge                                                                                     Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

23rd January, 12.15-1.15pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Speaker: Professor Myria Georgiou (LSE Department of Media & Communications)

This presentation examines whether the city can become a city of refuge, that is, one that recognises newcomers’ agency and rights as humans but also as citizens-in-the-making. Drawing from research in Athens, Berlin and London at the aftermath of Europe’s “migration crisis”, the paper shows that cities of refuge emerge as hopeful but fragile urban ethico-political projects. More specifically, the city sometimes offers migrants and refugees recognition as humans and as citizens-in-the-making that the nation denies. Yet, and while recognition becomes possible in the city, it remains contested by the order of neoliberal nationalism. Neoliberal nationalism, as “the spectre over the city”, procreates an urban order (Sennett 1970) of marketized, securitised and surveilled cities that delimit rights and freedom (Kitchin 2016; Spencer 2016). As this order is reaffirmed, but also resisted on the material and digital street (Lane 2018), it becomes apparent that critical struggles for the present and future of cities as spaces of freedom or control unfold on the street and in response to the double requirement for recognition set by the ethos and socio-cultural order of neoliberal nationalism.


Jonathan Mijs

The Paradox of Inequality: income inequality and belief in meritocracy go hand in hand                                                                        Inequalities Seminar Series 

Speaker: Dr Jonathan Mijs  (International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

22nd January, 12.30-1.45pm, Fawcett House (FAW), Room 9.05

Inequality is on the rise: gains have been concentrated with a small elite, while most have seen their fortunes stagnate or fall. Despite what scholars and journalists consider a worrying trend, there is no evidence of growing popular concern about inequality. In fact, research suggests that citizens in unequal societies are less concerned than those in more egalitarian societies. How to make sense of this paradox? I argue that citizens’ consent to inequality is explained by their growing conviction that societal success is reflective of a meritocratic process. Drawing on 25-years of International Social Survey Programme data, I show that rising inequality is legitimated by popular beliefs that the income gap is meritocratically deserved: the more unequal a society, the more likely its citizens are to explain success in meritocratic terms, and the less important they deem non-meritocratic factors such as a person’s family wealth and connections.


sara hoboltTorben Iversendavid-soskiceMike Savage

Democracy and Prosperity: reinventing capitalism through a turbulent century

Public Event 

Speakers: Professor Sara Hobolt (European Institute, LSE); Professor Torben Iversen (Harvard University and Centennial Professor LSE); Professor David Soskice (International Inequalities Institute, LSE) 

Chair:  Mike Savage, Director, International Inequalities Institute, LSE

21st January, 6:30- 8:00pm, LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

It is a widespread view that democracy and the advanced nation-state are in crisis, weakened by globalisation and undermined by global capitalism, in turn explaining rising inequality and mounting populism. At this event Torben Iversen and David Soskice will discuss their new book, Democracy and Prosperity: The Reinvention of Capitalism in a Turbulent Century, which argues this view is wrong: advanced democracies are resilient, and their enduring historical relationship with capitalism has been mutually beneficial.






Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and edge economies
Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Suzanne Hall

Thursday, 6th December, 12.15-1.15pm,  Fawcett House 2.9.05

The ‘migrant margins’ emerges in the intersection of global migration and urban marginalisation. Focusing on livelihoods forged by migrants on four peripheral streets in the edge territories of Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester, I draw on face-to-face surveys with self-employed proprietors. Despite significant variables amongst proprietors, these individuals had all become traders on streets in marginalised parts of UK cities, and I address whether ‘race’ matters more than class for how certain groups become emplaced in the city. Narratives of inequality and racism feature prominently in the proprietors’ accounts of where they settled in the city and what limited forms of work are available in the urban margins. Yet as significant to proprietors’ experiences of trade are repertoires of entrepreneurial agility and cross-cultural exchange. Through the concept of the ‘migrant margins’ I explore the overlap of human capacities and structural discrimination that spans the margins of global and urban space. I combine urban sociological understandings of ‘race’ and inequality with fluid understandings of makeshift city-making that have emerged in post-colonial urban studies. Such combinations encourage connections between the histories and geographies of how people and places become bordered, together with practices of edge economies that are both marginal and transgressive.


john_pullingerZamiladavid halpernSandra kerrMike Savage

Nudge Theory and What Works dynamic approaches to opening up data                                                                                      Supported by JRF

Chair: John Pullinger, UK National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive UK Statistics Authority

Speakers: Zamila Bunglawala, JRF Fellow in Practice and Deputy Director, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office; David Halpern, Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team; Sandra Kerr, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community (BiTC); and Mike Savage, Director, International Inequalities Institute, LSE

Wednesday, 5th December, 6pm-8pm, LSE, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Please RSVP to 

Dynamic approaches towards open data to identify ‘what works’, to inform behavioural change and public and private sector policies, to reduce inequalities.

Increasingly, data is how we make sense of the world. From GDP to the UN’s sustainability goals, key indicators are held up as objective reflections of the world.  This open dialogue event will highlight dynamic approaches from the new ONS Center for Equalities and Inclusion, from 'nudge theory' and behavioural change, sharing ‘what works’ and informing policies in the public and private sectors to reduce inequalities in gender pay, ethnic minority employment and wider inequalities. 


Susanne Wessendorf

The ‘Essex Hijab’. Fitting into the diverse city: social exclusion, symbolic boundaries and convivial labour in East London
Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Susanne Wessendorf

Tuesday, 4th December, 12.30-1.45pm,  Fawcett House .9.05

This paper addresses how long-established ethnic minorities in East London react to new immigration. By drawing on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork, it looks at how long-term experiences of stigmatisation among ethnic minorities impact on their perceptions of newcomers, and how, in the context of socio-economic precariousness, these perceptions are characterized by a combination of empathy and resentment.


Guy Standing - 2nd October

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson 3Lord Chris Holmes MBE small-2David Isaac

Switching Focus: whose responsibility to improve disabled people’s employment and pay?

Supported by JRF

Speakers include: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE (cross-bench peer), Lord Chris Holmes MBE, David Isaac CBE (Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission) and Liz Sayce (LSE)

Chair: Dr Tania Burchardt (LSE, Department of Social Policy)

Wednesday, 28th November, 6pm – 7.30pm, Tower 1 Room G.01

This event marks the launch of a report that sets an agenda to scale up inclusive employment practice through policies that focus on the demand side: incentivising and supporting employers. Decades of focus on the supply side – requiring or supporting disabled individuals to move towards work – have left the UK with stubborn disability employment and pay gaps. A different approach is needed.

Please RSVP to by 21 November.



Matthew Rycroft CBE-smallZamilaRose Caldwell Small imageElizabeth Stuart smallClaudia Wells ONS

International Inequalities: Leave No One Behind - Digitising Development Data                                                                          Supported by JRF

Chair: Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary DFID

Speakers:  Zamila Bunglawala JRF Practitioner Fellow, III LSE; Rose Caldwell, Executive Director, Concern Worldwide (UK); Elizabeth StuartHead of Programmes ODI; and Claudia WellsAssistant Director for Sustainability and Environment statistics at the Office for National Statistics

Thursday, 22nd November, 6pm-7.30pm, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields,1st Floor, Room 1.04.

Panel to discuss international inequalities, data collection, disaggregation and gaps, and digital innovations, challenges and opportunities in reducing inequalities.

Please RSVP to by 21 November.






The Pains and Reach of Racism in Young  Londoner’s Lives: Sketching the Contours                                                                                Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

SpeakerDr Coretta Phillips

Thursday, 22nd November, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

This paper sketches an analytical framework to conceptualise the way racial power and socio-economic precarity impacts the everyday lives of young minority ethnic Londoners. Using data from life histories, photo-elicitation and vignettes, it aims to elucidate the pains of racism and economic marginalisation using and extending the notions of measurement (depthbreadthlooseness and tightness) drawn from Crewe’s (2011) conceptualisation of the contemporary pains of imprisonment. While there is no intention to imply a straightforward parallel between systems of penal power and racial power, the commonalities in the feelings evoked and the lives lived are stark in their affect and effect. 


Picture of Dr Katharina HechtKateSummers200x200

Experiences of money from the perspectives of London’s ‘rich’ and ‘poor’
Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speakers: Dr Kate Summers and Dr Katharina Hecht

Tuesday, 20th November, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

This paper compares qualitative interview data with individuals at the opposite ends of the income and wealth distributions, in a society with large economic inequality. We highlight key temporal differences in how money is experienced, whereby the ‘poor’ are restricted to short-term strategies for making ends meet, while the ‘rich’ can engage in long-term wealth accumulation strategies. Our novel comparison also shows important commonalities between these two groups, and in particular the pervasive influence of what we term ‘individualised market thinking’. Due to this commonality the temporal aspects of achieving a state of perceived deservingness are enduring for those at the top and fleeting for those at the bottom of the income and wealth distributions.



Uncertain citizenship: Everyday practices of Bolivian migrants in Chile
Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Megan Ryburn

Thursday, 8th November, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

Uncertain Citizenship explores how Bolivian migrants to Chile experience citizenship in their daily lives. Intraregional migration is on the rise in Latin America and challenges how citizenship in the region is understood and experienced. In response to this, and drawing on multi-sited ethnographic research, the book develops the idea of transnational spaces of citizenship. It explores how migrants are both included inand excluded from these spaces across borders, considering how these inclusions and exclusions are mediated by migrants’ social identities, such as gender, race, and class. As they navigate movement and migration through these spaces, many individuals occupy a state of uncertain citizenship.



Revolution and Freedom: Nightmarch among India's revolutionary guerrillas                                                                    

Public Event 

Thursday,1st November, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre 

In her latest book, Nightmarch, which she will talk about at this event, Alpa Shah offers a profound understanding of why some of India’s poor have shunned the world’s largest democracy and taken up arms to fight for a fairer society in one of the most intractable and under-reported rebellions.


Alpa Shah (@alpashah001) is Associate Professor (Reader) of Anthropology at London School of Economics and leads the Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty.

Neel Mukherjee is the critically acclaimed author of three novels: A State of Freedom(2017), The Lives of Others (2014), and A Life Apart (2010).

Chair: Beverley Skeggs (@bevskeggs) is a feminist sociologist and the Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity based in the International Inequalities Institute.



IMF: Gender Inequality and the Macroeconomy                            Closed Event  

Thursday,1st November 

Gender equality can play an important role in promoting economic stability by boosting economic productivity and growth, enhancing economic resilience, and reducing income inequality. The IMF supports countries in tackling gender gaps through its three main streams of work: analytical work, policy advice and capacity building. This presentation will discuss two specific areas that draw on analytical work and are operationalized at country level:

1) Gender budgeting efforts: how fiscal policies can be a powerful tool for ministries of finance to reduce gender inequality

2) An analytical framework to analyze macroeconomic and distributional effects, including on gender gaps                                 


Lisa Kolovich is an economist at the International Monetary Fund and the team manager for gender research under a joint IMF-DFID collaboration that focuses on macroeconomic issues in low-income countries.

Vivian Malta is an economist in the Strategy, Policy and Review department of the IMF, where she has been working on analytical projects that tackle, at the same time, macroeconomic issues and inequality.


Photo Zamila Bunglawala

Tackling ethnic disparities using websites                                      Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Zamila Bunglawala, Visiting Fellow III and Deputy Director - Strategy and Insight, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office

Tuesday, 30th October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

Since it’s 2017 launch the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Audit’s website, detailing all Government data broken down by ethnicity is a world-fist has raised the exposure of ethnic disparities across the country, and helped to shine a light on areas where more focus is needed.

The Race Disparity Audit is unprecedented in scale, scope and transparency, and has brought greater data accessibility to and accountability for ethnic disparities. Organisations in public, private and voluntary sectors are using the data to take action and the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website is valued and trusted, especially by key academics, ethnic minority and community NGOs.

Zamila is the founding member of the Race Disparity Audit. This seminar will demonstrate the website, including policy, data and digital decisions with a users-first approach, scale of the challenges, data-driven policies announced to tackle ethnic disparities, and invite discussion on what more still needs to be done.    



The Impact of Immigration on Natives’ Fertility: Evidence from Syrians in Turkey
Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Berkay Özcan

Thursday, 25th October, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

The discussion on whether immigration can solve the problems of population aging often focus on the fertility of immigrants. Additionally, standard projections often consider the impact of migration on population growth but assume that the natives’ fertility does not change in response to migration. By contrast, we show that the native fertility is affected by immigration. We use the Syrian mass migration to specific Turkish provinces shortly after the 2011 civil war as an exogenous source of variation in exposure to immigration and show that natives’ fertility in the affected provinces increased relative to the provinces that are less affected. Our findings are consistent across fertility measures both at the aggregate andindividual levels. We provide further analyses to test four potential mechanisms and to show heterogeneityin the fertility response by population subgroups. We find that the labor market-related factors and socialinteractions can plausibly explain the increase in natives’ fertility.



Workshop on Inequality and Social Protection in South East Europe


Monday, 22nd October, FREN, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, Serbia

The workshop aims to provide a forum for the presentation, dissemination and discussion of the latest research on inequality and social protection in South East Europe (SEE) among researchers and key stakeholders. After the workshop, papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume published by LSEE. Researchers are invited to submit abstracts of their papers by 1st October 2018.


photo Julia Gillard

Closing the Gender Data Gap:  from data access to informing decisions and changing behaviours

Tuesday 16th Oct, 7-8.30 pm, Bush House,Strand Campus KCL - This event is held jointly by the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at Kings College London and LSE International Inequalities Institute

Chair: The Hon Julia Gillard AC (Global Institute for Womens Leadership, KCL) Speakers:  Zamila Bunglawala (Cabinet Office and JRF Practitioner Fellow, III); Seeta Gangadharan (LSE); Anna Wechsberg (Government Equalities Office)

This panel event will look at the accessibility and transparency of data from across sectors, as researchers and policy makers look to close the gender data gap through informing decisions, changing behaviours and improving outcomes for all.



 Inclusive Growth in cities: a sympathetic critique

Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Neil Lee

Tuesday, 16th October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

The concept of ‘Inclusive Growth’ – a concern with the pace and pattern of growth – has become a new mantra in local economic development. Despite enthusiasm from some policy-makers, others argue it is a buzzword which is changing little. This paper summarizes and critiques this agenda. There are important unresolved issues with the concept of Inclusive Growth, which is conceptually fuzzy and operationally problematic, has only a limited evidence base, and reflects an overconfidence in local government’s ability to create or shape growth. Yet, while imperfect, an Inclusive Growth model is better than one which simply ignores distributional concerns.


Ayse Guveli

Multiple generation mobility among European Turks and non-migrant Turks inTurkey
Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Ayse Guveli

Thursday, 11th October, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

Intergenerational social mobility is a longstanding research topic and a reoccurring measure for equal opportunities in our societies. High levels of social mobility decrease social inequalities and fuel equal opportunities. Recently, the impact of grandparents’ social class has gained extensive attention among stratification scholars, but research is still rare in international migration literature. Do descendants of migrants benefit from migration in obtaining better occupational status? This research focuses on three to four generation social mobility among Turkish origin Europeans and their non-migrant comparators in Turkey by analysing the original 2000 Families dataset, including about 20,000 adults in Western European countries and Turkey. Our preliminary findings show that migrants were positively selected on social mobility. That is, they were more likely to have different job than their parent before they migrated to Europe compared to those who never left Turkey. We find that social reproduction is stronger among non-migrants in Turkey than those in Europe.



The Inner Level: how more equal societies reduce stress, restore sanity and improve wellbeing
LSE Public Lecture

Speakers: Professor Kate Pickett, Professor Richard Wilkinson

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

Wednesday, 3rd October, 6.30-8.00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The speakers will focus on the psychological effects of inequality, on how larger income differences increase feelings of dominance and subordination, and the consequences for mental illness.


Luna Glucksberg

Ethnographic exploration of the socio-economic transformation of the Basque country

Speaker: Dr Luna Glucksberg

Tuesday, 2nd October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

The aim of this research project conducted by the LSE Inequalities Institute in collaboration with the Agirre Lehendakaria Center was to understand the values, narratives and strategic decisions that have been taken in the Basque Country by public and private institutions during the last decades, to build a unique socio-economic model that presents positive equality indicators combined with a competitive economy.


You are being tracked - Bev Skeggs

Choosing to be smart: Algorithms, AI, and avoiding the inevitability of unequal futures
LSE Public Lecture

Speakers: Dr Seeta Peña GangadharanSeda GürsesBarry Lynn

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

Thursday, 20th September, 6.30-8:00pm, 

Since the early 2000s, acquisitions by Microsoft, Google, Intel, and other big tech companies in AI and machine learning have been rapidly growing. As investments continue apace, and algorithms and artificial intelligence become integrated into our daily lives, public debate regularly fixates upon whether new, automated technologies can be used for good or bad. But as anxieties grow, what choices can we effectively make about our so-called intelligent futures? How do we make these choices? Who gets to choose, and at what point in the diffusion of automated technologies? This panel unpacks asymmetries in data-driven markets, the engineering of consent in optimization models used in data-driven technologies, and the politics of refusal in the context of automated systems. Barry Lynn, Seda Gürses, and Seeta Peña Gangadharan debate what choices people and institutions have—and should have to make—in the design, diffusion, and disruption of automated technologies.



Inequalities Seminar: Varieties of transition: income inequality and welfare systems in Yugoslav successor states

Speakers: Will Bartlett, Gorana Krstic, Nermin Oruc, Jelena Zarkovic Rakic

26th June, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05 

Twenty-five years since the break up of Yugoslavia, the successor states have followed different paths of transition and developed a variety of approaches to the welfare state. As a consequence, the patterns of income inequality that have evolved have been starkly different. While Serbia has the highest level of inequality in Europe, Slovenia has one of the lowest, while Croatia is in an intermediate position. Applying a unified methodology across cases, the seminar examines that factors that have contributed to these income inequality outcomes, with a focus on labour markets, educational systems and redistributory tax-benefit


Tate Modern - Alquiler de Coches

Art and Inequality: new perspectives

20 June, 2.00-8.00pm, Tate Modern, Bankside, London

Join us on 20 June 2018 at the Tate Modern to explore artistic responses to inequality.

Struggles for equality continue to engage with issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, and ability. This workshop explores the specific roles that art might play in tackling inequalities. How might artists document or make visible forms of inequality? What impact might their work have in shaping political and economic debates in these areas? How might artists and institutions work with communities and activists to reduce inequalities? And in what ways might art and its institutions perpetuate inequalities?

The event will begin with a workshop features short presentations by artists, curators, activists and academics as prompts for wider discussions amongst participants. Johnny Miller, one of our Atlantic Fellows 2017-18, will join contributors including David A. Bailey (curator and photographer), Adam Kaasa (Royal College of Art), Amal Khalaf (Serpentine Galleries), and Sarita Malik (Brunel University). There will also be an introduction to the Art and Inequality project from Dr Clive James Nwonka (London School of Economics).

The workshop is followed by an evening discussion in the Starr Cinema, chaired by the broadcaster Bidisha and featuring the cultural critic Bonnie Greer. The discussion is designed to be an open discussion, drawing on questions and contributions from the audience rather than formal presentations from the panellists. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to submit a question for the panel to consider, please email with the subject line ‘Art and Inequality’ by Friday 15 June.

This event has been developed through an exciting new partnership between Tate and The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity. For full details view the Tate Modern website for the workshop and the open discussion.


World Inequality Report 2018

Tracking the Rise in Global Economic Inequality: new evidence from the World Inequality Report 2018

Speaker: Dr Lucas Chancel (General Coordinator of the World Inequality Report and Co-Director of the World Inequality Lab)

Discussants: Dr Rebecca Simson (Junior Research Fellow at the Institute for Historical Research and Research Associate in the LSE International Development Department) and Dr Duncan Green (Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB and Professor in Practice in the LSE International Development Department)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (Co-Director, III)

7 June, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The first World Inequality Report (WIR2018), first launched in December last year at the Paris School of Economics, was coordinated by Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. It draws from new findings of the World Wealth and Income Database (a project which regroups now more than 100 researchers all over the world) and provides the first systemic assessment of globalization in terms of income and wealth inequality since 1980. It documents a sharp rise in global income inequality since the 1980s, despite strong growth in emerging countries. It also discusses country-to-country inequality trajectories (including UK's wealth inequality dynamics) and highlights the importance of policy-making in the diverging trends observed across countries and world regions.



Inequalities Seminar: Group Rights and Gender Justice on the Social Margins 

Speakers: Dr Naila Kabeer and Nivedita Narain (PRADAN)

29th May, TW2.9.05, 12.30-2pm 

This paper explores how the idea of gender justice as a critical aspect of social justice plays out among the Gonds, an Adivasi or tribal community in the state of Chattisgarh in India.  The Adivasis are the poorest and most socially and politically marginalized social group in the Indian context.  The historical nature of their disadvantage, along with those of Dalit (formerly ‘untouchable’) castes, is recognized by the Indian constitution which put in place various forms of affirmative action in the form of reservations in legislation, public sector employment and government-run educational institutions.  Additional special protections have also been imposed by the state in relation to tribal groups, for instance, to acknowledge the significance of land and forests to their identity and livelihoods. In other words, alongside the commitment to the individual rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution, there is also recognition of certain group rights reflecting criteria of caste and indigeneity.

Group rights, as the literature on the topic recognizes, can have the effect of suspending some of the rights of individual group members, particularly those who occupy a marginal status within them. The feminist literature on this topic has pointed out that it is frequently the rights of women within these groups that tend to be overridden by the recognition of the rights of their group. Our research explores these tensions from the perspectives of men and women from the Gond community.  It uses qualitative and quantitative research to gain insights into how they define themselves as Gond, how they distinguish themselves from other communities and their views about community norms and values. We also explore the significance of gender in differentiating the experience of growing up within the Gond community and in the views held by men and women with regard to the meaning of being a Gond. The research also examines the intersectional nature of inequality and injustice both within the Gonds as well as between Gonds and other communities. Finally, our research asks whether the efforts of government and civil society to promote self-help groups among women within these communities have brought about change in the lives of women and their families and how these changes are viewed by different sections of the community.



Inequalities Seminar: Recasting the UNDP's Human Development Measures

Speaker: Professor Sudhir Anand

Chair: Dr Aaron Reeves

8 May, TW2.9.05, 12.30-2pm

The UNDP introduced three new human development measures in its 2010 Human Development Report, which it continues to estimate and report on annually.  These measures are the geometrically-averaged Human Development index (HDI), the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), and the Gender Inequality Index (GII).  In this paper I critically review these measures in terms of their purpose, concept, construction, properties, and data requirements.  I show that all three measures suffer from serious defects, and conclude that two of them are not fit-for-purpose.  I suggest how HDI and GII might be recast to overcome the problems identified and better reflect the purpose for which they were devised. 


Mark Harvey

Exploitation, Asymmetries of Power, and Egalitarianism 

Speaker: Professor Mark Harvey (Director of the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation, and Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex)

2 May, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre 

The lecture gave an overview of the main issues addressed in the book Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism which Professor Mark harvey co-authored with Norman Geras, sadly no longer with us. The book asks: what are the processes that generate societal wealth inequalities, and how are these formed, socially, politically, legally and historically? Proceeding from a critique of Marx, the authors retain the idea that labour, in all its varieties and modalities (market, non-market, domestic) is the creative source of societal wealth. Professor Harvey will demonstrate that the industrial revolution drove not only the growth of wage labour but also a vast capitalist expansion of slavery – and its subsequent replacement by other forms of servitude. The legacies of those inequalities persist to this day. 


Labour of Care - Book cover

The Labour of Care: work, law, and finance

Speaker: Lydia Hughes, Kevin Lucas, Dr Insa Koch, Professor Nicola Lacey

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

1 May, 6.30-8pm The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

If a society is judged on its ability to care for those who need support, what does it mean to turn caring into profit?

To celebrate May Day, the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity, based at the International Inequalities Institute, held an event to explore how the Labour of Care - the often-ignored activity of caring for another person and it’s future role in social, political, and economic life.


Chiara Mariotti

Inequalities Seminar: Great Expectations: Is the IMF turning words into action on inequality?

Speaker: Chiara Mariotti (Inequality Policy Manager, Oxfam)

Chair: Dr Aaron Reeves

1 May, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

The seminar considered that, in recent years, the International Monetary Fund has become a global leader in highlighting the inequality crisis; consistently identifying it as a major threat to human progress and prosperity. But what is the IMF doing in practice to operationalize its agenda for tackling inequality? 


Tony Bennett

Cultural Studies and the Challenge of Inequality Today

Speakers: Professor Tony Bennett, Professor Bev Skeggs, Dr Clive James Nwonka

Chair: Mike Savage

18 April, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

This event considered the prospects for contemporary thinking within the cultural studies tradition to engage with current inequalities. Mindful of the historical importance of this tradition, dating back to the 1960s and including work by Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, feminist cultural theory, and Bourdieu, the panel took stock of these older perspectives and offered their thoughts on contemporary prospects.


Chris Hughes

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn

Speaker: Chris Hughes

Discussants: Professor Natalie Fenton, Kam Sandhu

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

10 April, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes made the case that one percenters like him should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: a guaranteed income for working people. Chris Hughes is the co-founder of the Economic Security Project. He co-founded Facebook and later led Barack Obama’s digital organising campaign for President. 

Podcast available here.


Joana Naritomi

Inequalities Seminar: The Effects of Welfare Programs on Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Conditional Cash transfers

Speaker: Dr Joana Naritomi (LSE International Development)

20 March, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Welfare programs, such as Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs), have expanded widely in Latin America in the past 15 years and have been credited for a sizable reduction in poverty rates. Yet, potential unintended consequences on labour markets have spurred a heated political debate over the future of these programs. There is a concern that they create efficiency costs by lowering incentives to work, particularly in the formal sector as many programs condition continued eligibility on reported income levels. Such disincentive effects at the individual level, however, could be mitigated by general equilibrium effects. For instance, formal wages may increase following the reduction in labour supply. Welfare programs also inject funds into local economies, potentially raising labour demand, equilibrium wages, and employment, including in the formal sector. This project matches administrative records of the universe of Bolsa Familia recipients in Brazil and the universe of formal employment data to provide new evidence on the partial and general equilibrium effects of the program on formal labour markets in the country. Our preliminary results show evidence of disincentives in formal labor supply at the individual level for specific subgroups of workers, but positive effects at the local labor market level. 

This event is certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. For delegates who wish to obtain CPD Certificate of Attendance, please register your details at the end of the event.


Missing Giant

Who Belongs? Can we Afford to be Different?

Speakers: Brett Heasman, Celestin Okoroji, Professor Bev Skeggs, Dr Jana Uher

Chair: Dr Sunil Kumar

24 February, 4.30-5.45pm, New Academic Building

There have been significant advances in the rights, recognition and participation of diverse groups of people in the UK over the past 30 years. And yet, people’s backgrounds and characteristics – such as their age, gender, ethnicity, 'abilities' or 'disabilities', and sexual orientation – continue to strongly influence their life experiences, opportunities and prosperity. During an extended period of austerity, the current political climate is characterised by sharp divisions in attitudes to the long-term direction of the country, to the question of 'who belongs?' and to the sustainability of the UK's welfare system – giving rise to the question, ‘Can we afford to be different?’ 

Video here



Five LSE Giants' Perspectives on Poverty

Speakers: Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor Sir John Hills, Professor Stephen P Jenkins, Professor Lucinda Platt

Chair: Professor Paul Gregg

24 February 3.15-4.30pm, Alumni Theatre New Academic Building

Taking five ‘Giants’ in the study of poverty over the last 100 years, themselves, like Beveridge, authors of influential reports, this event discussed how their thinking articulates with Beveridge’s vision and has advanced our understanding of poverty and how to tackle it.

Video here.


Housing and urbanisation

Lessons from Grenfell Tower: inequality and housing need, the Giant that still divides us

Speakers: Professor Danny Dorling, Lynsey Hanley, Professor Anne Power

23 February, 6.30-7.30pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The crucially important role of social housing has been recognised following the Grenfell Tower disaster, which also laid bare the disconnect between the ‘elites’ and the most disadvantaged in society.This event explored the link between inequality and housing, evidenced by the growing demand for low cost rented housing among those on the very lowest incomes. Unless the voices of communities and residents are heard and taken seriously, there is a risk that gaps in society will widen even further.

Video here.


Louise and Winnie

Writing Fiction to Dramatise Inequality

Speakers: Louise Doughty (author of Apple Tree YardBlack Water, and Whatever You Love), Winnie M Li (LSE Media and Communications and author of Dark Chapter), Professor Nicola Lacey (LSE Law)

Chair: Dr Shani Orgad (LSE Media and Communications)

21 February, 7-8pm, Wolfson Theatre

How can literature reach audiences in ways that social science research about inequality can’t? How can narratives about fictional characters dramatise lived experiences of social inequality – and what are the ethical implications of creating these narratives for a mass readership? 

This event brings together two award-winning authors (one established, one emerging) whose fiction explores various forms of social inequality. Louise Doughty, author of eight novels, is best known for her bestselling Apple Tree Yard, which was adapted into a BBC TV series. Winnie M Li is a PhD student at LSE, whose debut novel Dark Chapter, recently won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize and is inspired by her own lived experience of rape. They will be discussing these questions wtih Dr Shani Orgad, whose work focuses on the representation of gender in media narratives, and Professor Nicola Lacey, whose work focuses on feminist analysis of law, law and literature and biography.

Podcast here.


Beveridge 2.0

The Challenge of Richness? Rethinking the Giant of Poverty

Speakers: Dr Tania Burchardt (LSE CASE), Amy Feneck, Dr Sam Friedman (LSE Sociology), Dr Luna Glucksberg (LSE III)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (LSE Sociology)

20 February, 8-9.15pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The economic and political power of the richest in our society has dramatically increased since 1942. 75 years on since his report, the panel discussed whether Beveridge’s concern with poverty now needs to be extended to include a concern with richness.

Video here.


Sarah Goff

Inequalities Seminar: The stakes of trade policy: global and domestic inequalities

Speaker: Dr Sarah Goff (LSE Government)

20 February 2018, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Economic nationalism is on the rise, while multilateral and regional decision-making on trade is floundering. These trends are highlighted by the collapse of the World Trade Organization’s Doha round, the US’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the US and the UK taking steps that could lead to withdrawal from Nafta and the Common Market, respectively. When decision-making on trade shifts from multilateral institutions to states, what is at stake for equality? One domain of equality is procedural fairness, namely, “reciprocity” and “non-discrimination” between states. A second domain is domestic equality, since political leaders claim that better trade deals will help disadvantaged groups. A final domain is global distributive equality, which includes developing countries’ chances for growth and the treatment of their most vulnerable citizens. This talk clarified the points of conflict between these three domains of equality, and the prospects for global distributive equality while the first two domains have political priority.

Podcast here.


Climate Change Image

Having Too Much: Developing a Riches line

Speaker: Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht University)

15 February, 12-1.30pm

This seminar presented the argument that it is not morally permissible to have more resources than are needed to fully flourish in life. It is instrumentally necessary to limit ‘riches’ above this level to protect political equality and to meet urgent needs. Some indications are given on how such a riches line might be defined. 


Queer Elizabeth

Bird la Bird’s Travelling Queer People’s History Show

Speaker: Bird la Bird

14 February, 6.30pm - 8.00pm, Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE

Bird la Bird is an artist who straddles comedy and performance art. Drawing on her love of history and art Bird has created highly popular queer people's history tours of the V&A, Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and the City of London.



Changes and Continuities in Perceptions of Poverty and Inequality among Brazilian Elites

Speaker: Professor Elisa Reis (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage 

7 February 2018, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Having researched elite perceptions in Brazil in the 2010s, Reis discussed changes and continuities in the ways those at the top view poverty and inequality, and explored their possible implications for social policy. 


Akwugo Emejulu

Crisis Politics and the Challenge of Intersectional Solidarity

Co-hosted with Department of Gender Studies

Speaker: Professor Akwugo Emejulu (University of Warwick)

Chair: Dr Aisling Swaine (LSE Gender)  

31st January 2018, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

How might we transform the ways in which we think about ‘crisis’, ‘activism’ and 'solidarity'?


Drawing on her new co-authored book, Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain, Akwugo Emejulu's talk explored the asymmetrical impacts of austerity measures on women of colour and their strategies for resistance in Scotland, England and France.

Video and podcast available here.



Sonia Exley

Inequalities Seminar: Selective schooling and its relationship to private tutoring: lessons from South Korea

Speaker: Dr Sonia Exley (LSE Social Policy)

30th January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

In light of recent Conservative Government proposals to expand numbers of academically selective (‘grammar’) schools in England, Dr Sonia Exley considers the possibility that such a policy could fuel further what are already rising levels of private tutoring in England, with implications for inequality and for disadvantaged families. One way to explore such a possibility is to examine whether selective schooling has been important in driving private tutoring trends in other societies. The presentation drew on interviews with experts and stakeholders in the ‘extreme case’ of South Korea – a country with some of the highest family spending on private tutoring in the world and also a long history of selective schooling. Interviewees for this project were in many respects critical of a 1970s ‘equalisation’ of Korean schooling, though they also viewed recent moves back towards selection as being instrumental in fuelling ‘shadow education’. Concern about this issue has driven governments to try and curb schools’ selective powers for a second time in Korean history. Although Korea and England are two different countries with different education systems, there are some reasons to hypothesise on the basis of Korean experience that expanded selective schooling in England may contribute to an expanded private tutoring industry. 

Podcast available here.


Ground down by growth

Neoliberalism, Social Oppression and Class Relations

25th January, 1pm-8pm, TW2.9.04 and Old Theatre

The LSE International Inequalities Institute and the Department of Anthropology welcome you on 25 January 2018 to a half day conference on ‘Neoliberalism, Social Oppression and Class Relations’ with Philippe Bourgois (keynote lecture), Jeffery Webber, Shelley Feldman, Tithi Bhatacharya and Beverley Skeggs (1-6pm, Room 9.04, Tower 2, Clements Inn, LSE) and an LSE public event evening panel discussion of ‘Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India' with Alpa Shah, Jens Lerche, Philippe Bourgois and Katy Gardner (6.30-8.00 pm followed by a drinks reception, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE)

For further details and to get your free ticket for the conference, please see:

Please note that everyone is welcome to attend LSE public events on a first come-first serve basis, so to avoid disappointment, come early to the Old Theatre for the evening discussion.

Podcast available here.



Inequalities Seminar: Income Inequality and Welfare Systems in the Yugoslav Successor States

Speakers: Dr Will Bartlett (LSEE Research on South East Europe), Dr Nermin Oruč (Center for Development Evaluation and Social Science Research, Sarajevo), Dr Jelena Žarković Rakic (University of Belgrade) and Dr Gorana Krstić (University of Belgrade)

23rd January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Twenty-five years since the break up of Yugoslavia, the successor states record different levels of income inequality. Slovenia has one of the lowest levels of inequality in Europe, Serbia the highest, while Croatia has an intermediate position. Using the latest survey data (the EU-standard SILC survey on incomes and living conditions) the speakers explore the sources of income that are most important for explaining the emergent income inequalities. Has redistribution through taxes and social transfers been a main cause of differences in disposable income inequality or have differences in the distribution of labour and capital incomes been the main factors involved? How much has inequality been affected by the transitions from a self-managed socialist economy to different varieties of capitalist economies? What has been the role of differing welfare regimes in explaining todays varying inequality levels?

Podcast available here.


Thomas Shapiro

Toxic Inequality in the United States: economic inequality and racial injustice driving ugly politics

Speaker: Professor Thomas Shapiro (Brandeis University)

Discussant: Zamila Bunglawala (Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office)

Chair: Professor Lucinda Platt (LSE Social Policy)

18th January, 6.30-8pm, Hong Kong Theatre

This lecture was based on Thomas Shapiro's book Toxic Inequality, which examines a powerful and unprecedented convergence in the United States: historic and rising levels of wealth and income inequality in an era of stalled mobility, intersecting with a widening racial wealth gap, all against the backdrop of changing racial and ethnic demographics.

This event was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Video and podcast available here.

Thomas Shapiro 2

Inequalities Seminar: Economic and Racial Drivers of Toxic Inequality in the United States: Two Narratives, One Story

Speaker: Professor Thomas Shapiro (Brandeis University)

16 January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But, economic inequality differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have amassed wealth at three times the rate of black families. Wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--that is a key part of why inequality in the United States is now toxic. The findings from this project draws on a unique set of rich family interviews conducted at a twelve year interval combined with longitudinal survey data. 

Podcast available here.



Climate Change Image

Climate Change, Inequality and Time Use: Double-Dividend Approaches to Emission Reduction

Speaker: Professor Juliet Schor (Boston College)

7th Dec, 12-1.30pm, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Author of many books including Plenitude; The Overworked American; and The Overspent American. Researcher into time, consumption and sustainability.

In this talk Professor Schor discussed a series of papers that look at two variables that have received little attention in the discussions of emissions reductions: domestic concentrations of income and wealth, and working hours. He finds strong relationships between inequality, time use and emissions at a variety of scales (global, OECD, and US cross-state). This line of research suggests the possibility of double-dividend policies that will reduce inequality, working hours, and emissions.

BSA logo

Closed Workshop: A case-study of ‘socio-genetic understanding’: Robbins on Bourdieu, 1970-2017

Speakers: Yusef Bakkali (University of Sussex), Ray Campbell, Stephanie Lacey (University Campus Barnsley), Lisa Mckenzie (Middlesex University), Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths), Diane Reay (LSE), Derek Robbins (UEL), Marco Santoro (University of Bologna), Mike Savage (LSE III)

5th December 2017, 9.30am-5pm, venue at LSE tbc

The BSA Bourdieu Study Group hosted a special workshop in honour of Derek Robbins entitled: “Robbins on Bourdieu, 1970-2017, A case-study of ‘socio-genetic understanding’”. This workshop was supported by the Institute of Inequalities (LSE). The workshop explored the development of Derek Robbins’s predisposition to study the work of Bourdieu, and his early encounters with Bourdieu. It argued that all intellectual works should be understood by reference to their contexts of production rather than in terms of predefined, abstracted disciplinary discourses and offer paradigmatic example of the reflexive response to Bourdieu recommended for all participants.

The day was divided into five sessions: Methodological presentation, Robbins and Bourdieu up to 1990, Robbins and Bourdieu, 1990-2002, Robbins and Bourdieu, 2002 to the present. The final session considered Robbins’ attempts after Bourdieu’s death to treat the transmission of his work as a case-study of the international transfer of social science concepts, first in respect of Franco-British transfer and then in respect of occidental-oriental transfer. This analysis involves an application of socio-genetic understanding and, as such, runs counter to the increasing tendency to appropriate Bourdieu’s work for an international sociological discourse.


Inequalities Seminar: Inequality and Service

Speaker: Dr Paul Segal 

28th November, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05 

The study of economic inequality is fundamentally concerned with differing entitlements over goods and services. Yet this means that economists of inequality have so far neglected an aspect of inequality discussed by social commentators at least since Rousseau: that it also implies that one person is entitled to command another person, owing to their differing economic positions. This talk proposed a measure of this form of inequality called the service ratio, and argued that the ability of the rich to command the labour of the non-rich for their own satisfaction is a socially and political salient feature of economic inequality. The ability to employ domestic service is essential to conceptions of the upper middle class lifestyle in many countries, and has also been essential to rising female labour market participation. Paul Segal has calculated service ratios in a selection of countries over time, and illustrated the relationship between this measure and other standard measures of inequality.

Walter Scheidel

The Great Leveler: violence and economic inequality from the Stone Age to the future

Speaker: Professor Walter Scheidel (Stanford University)

27th November 2017, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

For thousands of years, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Only violent shocks have significantly reduced inequality: mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues. This lecture examined these processes over the long run of history, and considered the prospects of levelling in today's more stable world.

This lecture was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Read about the III's partnership with JRF here.

Video and podcast available here.

Cristobal Young

The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: how place still matters for the rich

Speaker: Dr Christobal Young (Stanford University)

Discussant: Dr Andrew Summers (LSE) and Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP (subject to parliamentary business)

Chair: Professor Nicola Lacey (LSE)

If taxes rise, will they leave? Cristobal Young presented his findings from the first-ever large-scale study of migration of the world’s richest individuals, drawing on special access to over 45 million US tax returns, together with Forbes rich lists. He showed that contrary to popular opinion, although the rich have the resources and capacity to flee high-tax places, their actual migration is surprisingly limited. Place still matters, even in today’s globalised world.

Podcast / video available here.

Anne Power

Inequalities Seminar: Can Social Landlords Make Private Renting Work Better?

Speaker: Professor Anne Power

Chair: Dr Aaron Reeves

14th November 2017, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

In this seminar, Professor Anne Power and Alice Belotti presented findings from interviews with, and analysis of, 20 social landlords, three private landlords and two housing charities on how social landlords can make the private rented sector more secure, better quality and more affordable for tenants.

Podcast available here.


What We Treasure We Measure: a theatrical engagement with gender in/equality

PartecipArte Theatre Company

8th November 2017, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

PartecipArte engage with gender inequality in the European Union using 'Theatre of the Oppressed' theatrical forms to analyse, understand and tackle multiple dimensions of gender in/equality by exposing them on stage. PartecipArte presented a 'theatrical PowerPoint' which showed, with human slides and living statues, the different ways to approach gender equality and the current situation of gender equality in the European Union. Inspired by the Gender Equality Index, the theatrical PowerPoint highlighted how men and women are assigned different responsibilities, rights, benefits and opportunities in the activities they perform, in access to the control of resources and in decision-making processes. The slides explain the unfavourable situation of women in all of the six core domains composing the Gender Equality Index – work, money, knowledge, time, power and health - and in the satellite domain of violence against women. In turn, the audience becomes the protagonist and the author of a new PowerPoint, asking should we accept those stories or can we change them?

This event is funded by the Atlantic Fellows programme, and co-hosted with the LSE Departments of Gender Studies and Statistics.

Video recording available here.

Heat Greed and Human Need

Book Launch: Heat, Greed and Human Need: Climate Change, Capitalism and Sustainable Wellbeing

Professor Ian Gough (Visiting Professor, LSE CASE) presents his new book (Edward Elgar 2017)

Chair: Dame Professor Judith Rees (Vice-chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE)

Discussant:Kate Raworth (Oxford University Environmental Change Institute; author of Doughnut Economics

8th November, 6.30, Shaw Library

This event was supported by CASE, GRI and the III at LSE, and Edwar Elgar Ltd.

Video available here.

National Theatre building

National Debate: Class - an unequal nation

Hosted by the National Theatre

Speakers: Dawn Foster (Author of Lean Out), Abid Hussain (Director of Diversity, Arts Council England), David Lammy MP, Mike Savage (Martin White Professor of Sociology, LSE)

Chair: Anushka Asthana (Guardian joint Political Editor)

2nd November 2017, 5.45-6.45pm, National Theatre

A panel explored how class affects our chosen path in life, and how easy is it to break out of the social hierarchy. Is the class system still relevant in 21st-century Britain? The National Theatre presented a debate inspired by the production of Saint George and the Dragon

Darren Walker

Investing in Equality: the role of capital and justice in addressing inequality

Speaker: Darren Walker (President of the Ford Foundation)

Chair: Professor Julia Black (Interim Director, LSE)

1st November, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Philanthropic organisations play a key role in challenging the causes, effects, and consequences of inequality, funding projects that aim to directly and indirectly reduce the inequality gap. However questions have been raised about the approach, direction and priorities of such wealthy organisations when funding projects to tackle inequality, and the effect of these projects on the beneficiaries and the economy as a whole.

The Ford Foundation has identified inequality as the central issue of our time. Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation, discussed the work and focus of the Ford Foundation, and the greater role of Philanthropy in reducing inequality.

This event is funded by the Atlantic Fellows programme.

Video recording available here.

Nicola Lacey

British Academy lecture: Women, Crime and Character in the Twentieth Century

Speaker: Professor Nicola Lacey FBA CBE (III)

Chair: Professor Sarah Worthington QC(Hon), FBA, University of Cambridge

26 October 2017, 6-7.15pm, British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

The Twentieth Century saw decisive changes in women’s legal, social, economic and political position.  But how far have these changes been reflected in women’s position as subjects of criminalisation in the courts, in legal thought or in literary fiction?   This lecture took up the story of the gradual marginalisation of criminal women in both legal and literary history, asking whether a criminal heroine such as Moll Flanders (1722) is thinkable again, and what this can tell us about conceptions of women as subjects of criminal law.  How far do the conceptions of, and dilemmas about, female subjectivity, agency, capacity and character which emerge successively in 20th Century literary culture reflect and illuminate the relevant patterns and debates in criminal law and philosophy? 

Paul Willman

Inequalities Seminar: Do Firms Manage Pay Inequality? 

Speaker: Professor Paul Willman

24 October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2 9.04

This talk examined the role of the modern firm in the creation of inequality of income. Specifically, it examined the growth in the use of asset based rewards for senior executives, combined with continued use of salaried rewards for other employees, and the impact this has on measures of inequality both within the firm and society. If asset values tend to outstrip GDP then, other things equal, policies that reward one group with assets and others with wages will increase income inequality within the firm over time. Willman further argued that, since employment in firms that use asset based rewards for executives remains a substantial proportion of overall employment, the use of the firm as the unit of analysis for the examination of societal inequality, whether from a theoretical or policy based point of view, has some merit. The talk presented data on intra firm inequality for the UK. Both commercial and government data indicate that some measures of intra-firm inequality have increased substantially since big bang  (1986).  Since the financial crisis, a combination of equity based rewards for senior executive pay combined with the use of inflation indices or linkage to the National Living Wage have tended to increase inequality within firms on some measures.  

Podcast here.

Aaron Reeves 2

Inequalities Seminar: The Decline and Persistence of the Old Boy: Private Schools and Elite Recruitment 1897-2016

Speakers: Dr Aaron Reeves and Dr Sam Friedman

10 October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2 9.05

This talk based on a paper with the same title drew upon 120 years of biographical data [N = 120,764] contained within Who’s Who - a unique catalogue of the British elite - to explore the changing relationship between elite schools and elite recruitment. The authors find that the propulsive power of Britain’s ‘public schools’ has diminished significantly over time. This is driven in part by the wane of military and religious elites, and the rise of women in the labour force. However, the most dramatic declines followed periods of educational reform that both increased access to, and standardised and differentiated the form of, the credentials needed to access elite trajectories. Notwithstanding this fall our analysis also underlines that these schools remain extraordinarily powerful channels of elite formation. Even today the alumni of the 9 Clarendon Schools are 94 times more likely to be members of the British elite than those who attended any other school. 

Video recording here.

Bev Skeggs

"You are being tracked, evaluated for digital trading and sold as you read this": an analysis of the making of digital inequalities

26th September 2017, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Professor Beverley Skeggs 
Respondent: Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan 
Chair: Professor Mike Savage

If our personal data is traded in milliseconds up to 70k times per day, what does this mean? Should we care? Are we aware? Does it matter? Is it possible to escape? Bev Skeggs drew on research that uses software to track the trackers (Facebook) and identified how a person's browser use is tracked and searched in detail for sources of potential value that can be sold to advertising companies. She argued that if we want to know how inequalities are being shaped in the present and future we need to understand the opaque mechanisms that operate through stealth and experiment with our personal disclosures.

Video available here.

Branko Milanovic

The Evolution of Global Inequalities: the impact on politics and the economy

5th July 2017, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Professor Branko Milanovic
Chair: Professor Mike Savage

Branko Milanovic discussed the recent evolution in global inequality and focused on the political implications of the important changes in the global distribution of income.

Video recording available here.

Jee Kim

Inequalities: changing the terms of the debate

14th June, 2017, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Speakers: Jee Kim (Narratives Initiative), Katy Wright (Head of Global External Affairs at Oxfam), Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard)

Chair: Provessor Beverley Skeggs (LSE)

Given the power of those with a vested interest in maintaining some forms of inequality, can anything be done to change the terms of their debates? 

Video recording available here.

20170614_KU_LSE-III Conference_2170

III Annual Conference 2017: Challenging Inequalities, Developing a Global Response

14th June, 9.30-17.30, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The annual conference of III and Atlantic Fellows programme for Social and Economic Equity debated topics including social mobility, health, racial and ethnic inequalities.

Videos of all sessions available here.


YSI Inequality Workshop

12-13 June

Interest in inequality has peaked over the past years and it has spurred a complex web of highly relevant research. During this interactive workship, this web was visualised and disentangled. Participants shared their own work, and also participated collectively in a project that begins to map the main theories, findings, questions and resources in inequality research. The joint work will eventually be published online and serve as a guide for those who are interested in studying and researching inequality. The student platform will be an extension of the YSI's existing online resources.


A Village, a Country and the Discipline: economic development in Palanpur over seven decades
An Eva Colorni memorial lecture

Speaker: Professor Nicholas Stern (IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE, President of the LSE India Observatory, President of the British Academy)
Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen (Thomas W Lamont Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University)
Chair: Professor Naila Kabeer (Professor of Gender and Development at the LSE Gender Institute and the Department of International Development)

7th June, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Video recording available here.

Danny Dorling

The Equality Effect: improving life for everyone

Speaker: Professor Danny Dorling (Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, Oxford University)
Chair: Dr Neil Lee (LSE Department of Geography and Environment)

Thursday 18th May, 6.30-8pm, The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Centre

Video recording here.

Joan Williams

Why did Trump win? Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America

Speaker: Professor Joan C. Williams (Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation and Chair and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law)
Chair: Dr Michael McQuarrie (LSE Sociology Department)

Wednesday 10th May, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre 

Watch the video recording here.

Naila Kabeer

Inequalities Seminar: Intersecting Inequalities and the Sustainable Development Goals: insights from Brazil

Speakers: Professor Naila Kabeer (LSE Gender Institute and Department of International Development) and Dr Ricardo Santos (UNU-WIDER) 

Tuesday 9th May, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2 9.05

Listen to podcast here.

Guy Standing

Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen

Speaker: Professor Guy Standing (SOAS)
Discussants: Professor the Lord Meghnad DESAI (Emeritus
Professor of Economics LSE)
Dr Malcolm Torry (Director of the Citizen’s
Income Trust and Visiting Senior Fellow, Social Policy Department, LSE)
Barb Jacobson (welfare advisor and Coordinator for Basic Income UK)
Chair: Professor Mike Savage (Co-Director of the III, LSE)

Monday 8th May, Old Theatre, Old Building, 6.30-8pm

Watch the video recording here.

Lisa Mckenzie

Inequalities Seminar: Post-Industrialisation in the East Midlands: ethnographic narratives from the communities that were thrown under the Brexit bus

Speaker: Dr Lisa Mckenzie (LSE Sociology)

Tuesday 2nd May, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2 9.05

Listen to podcast here.

Whither Europe map

Whither Europe? Historical Perspectives on 2017

Speakers: Professor Michael Cox, Dr Abby Innes, Professor Mike Savage and Professor Emeritus Alan Sked Chair: Dr Lucia Rubinelli

Thurs 27th April 2017, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Can we Can we learn something about Europe’s future by turning to its past? Prominent scholars reflect on a year in history that has analogies with 2017.

Listen to podcast here.

Lutz Sager

Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy seminar Would income redistribution result in higher aggregate emissions?

Speaker: Lutz Sager (Grantham Research Institute) 

Thursday 27th April 2017, 12-13.30, 32L 1.04

Part of the interdisciplinary seminar series Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy. It is jointly hosted by the III, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and CASE (Centre for Analyisis of Social Exclusion).

Joan Costa-i-Font

Inequalities Seminar: Health and Income Inequality Aversion: results from a UK survey experiment

Tuesday 25th April, 12.30-1.45pm TW2 9.05

Speaker: Dr Joan Costa-i-Font (LSE Social Policy and European Institute) 

Drawing on representative survey data from the UK, this talk  examined the following:
- Whether individuals' preferences for inequality are domain specific, and specifically between income and health.
- Whether attitudes conventionally measured in surveys are different from inequality preferences.
- Some of the determinants of inequality preferences such as risk aversion and personality.

Dena Freeman seminar

Inequalities Seminar: Dynamics of Democracy and Inequality in the context of Globalization

21st March, TW2 9.05, 12.30-1.45pm

Speaker: Dr Dena Freeman (Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, LSE and an Associate of the III)

Listen to the podcast here.

Michele Lamont lecture

Getting Respect: responding to stigma and discrimination in the United States, Brazil and Israel

8 March, Old Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Professor Michèle Lamont

This lecture was based on Michèle Lamont’s latest book, which contributes to the study of everyday racism and stigma management, the quest for recognition, and the comparative study of inequality and processes of cultural change.

Watch the video here.

Michele Lamont

Inequalities seminar: Addressing recognition gaps: destigmatization processes and the making of inequality

7 March, TW2 9.05, 12.30-1.45pm

Speaker: Professor Michèle Lamont (Harvard University)

This talk brought together three lines of research focused on destigmatization processes (as they pertain to African Americans, people with HIV-AIDs, and the obese); cultural processes feeding into inequality; and recognition gaps experienced by white working-class men in the United States and France, and stigmatized groups in Brazil, Israel, and the United States. From these studies, Michèle Lamont proposed an agenda for the empirical analysis of recognition, which she views as an essential but largely missing dimension to the study of inequality.

Listen to the podcast here.

Polly Vizard

Inequalities seminar: Older peoples' experiences of dignity and nutritional support during hospital stays

21 February 2017

Speaker: Dr Polly Vizard (LSE CASE)

Concern about older people's experiences of healthcare has moved up the political and public policy agendas in the wake of the Independent and Public Inquiries into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. However, quantitative analysis of the available patient experience data remains limited and the statistical evidence base on inequalities even more so. In this talk, Dr Polly Vizard presented findings from a new study that provides in-depth nationally representative quantitative evidence on older people’s experiences of poor and inconsistent standards of treatment with dignity and respect, and support with eating, during hospital stays using the Adult Inpatient Survey. The study highlights how older age interacts with gender and disability as a driver of inpatient experience, considers the role of socio-economic disadvantage, and makes specific recommendations on how to build inequalities analysis into national frameworks for healthcare monitoring, inspection and regulation.

Podcast available here.

Climate Change Image

The Health Co-benefits of the Low Carbon Economy

16 February 2017

Speakers: Professor Andy Haines, Alison Smith and Ruth Mayne

Part of the interdisciplinary seminar series Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy. It is jointly hosted by the III, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and CASE (Centre for Analyisis of Social Exclusion).

BSA Seminar

BSA Seminar: Design and 'the Social': Mapping new Approaches to Inequality in Design

7 February 2017

Keynote Speaker: Dr Lucy Kimbell (Director of the Innovations Insights Hub, University of the Arts london) 

With contributions from: Prof Mike Savage (Co-Director of the III) and Dr Adam Kaasa (Director of Theatrum Mundi)

For a post-event summary of the seminar, see here.

Avner Offer cropped

The Piketty Opportunity

26 January 2017

Speakers: Patricia Hudson (Emeritus Professor Cardiff University), Avner Offer (Chichele Professor of Economic History, Oxford University) and Keith Tribe (Independent Scholar)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage

This event marked the publication of The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a volume of essays that builds upon the renewed interest in wealth and inequality stimulated by the work of Thomas Piketty. Editors and authors Patricia Hudson, Avner Offer and Keith Tribe joined with associates of the International Inequalities Institute to discuss the analysis of inequality in an international context.

Watch the video recording here.

Asma Jahangir 2

Religious Intolerance and its Impact on Democracy

STICERD Amartya Sen Lecture co-hosted by the International Inequalities Institute

17 January 2017

Speaker: Asma Jilani Jahangir
Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University)
Chair: Professor Chetan Bhatt (LSE Human Rights Centre and Sociology Department)

Asma Jilani Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Her talk focused on how government failure to address the questions of religious intolerance and free expression dilutes the principles of democracy, equality and justice, particularly for women and religious minorities.

Watch the video recording here.

Paul Segal seminar

Inequalities Seminar: Who are the Global Top 1%?

17 January 2017

Speaker: Dr Paul Segal (Senior Lecturer in Economics at Kings College London, Visiting Fellow at the III)

This seminar presented findings from the paper with the same title, representing the first in-depth analysis of the changing composition of the global distribution.

Watch the video recording here.

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Social Solidarity in the "Knowledge Economy"

12 January 2017

Speaker: Professor Kathleen Thelen (MIT)
Discussant: Dr Waltraud Schelkle (LSE European Institute)
Chair: Professor David Soskice (LSE Government Department)

This lecture examined cross-nationally divergent responses to the challenges posed by the transition to the "knowledge economy" and explores the role of the state in sustaining growth, employment, and social solidarity in the contemporary period.


Robert Frank Success and Luck

Success and Luck: good fortune and the myth of meritocracy

7 Dec 2016

Speaker: Prof Robert H. Frank (Cornell University)
Discussants: Prof Nicola Lacey (LSE) and Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP
Chair: Prof John Hills (LSE)

Professor Robert Frank discussed the role luck plays in economic success. 

Watch the video recording here.

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Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016

23 November 2016

Speaker:  Anthony Shorrocks (Global Economic Perspectives; World Institute of Development Economics Research)
Discussants: Dr Abigail McKnight (LSE) and Deborah Hardoon (Oxfam)
Chair: Prof John Hills (LSE)

To mark the publication of the Global Wealth Report 2016, Tony Shorrocks explained the basis of Credit Suisse data and summarised the current evidence on the level, distribution and trends of household wealth in all regions and countries of the world since 2000.

Watch video recording here

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Charles Booth Centenary Lectures

3 November 2016

Speakers: Mary Morgan, Alan Manning, Stephen Machin, Fran Tonkiss, Suzi Hall, Anne Power, Emily Grundy, Tim Newburn and John Hills

This event, which coincided with the LSE Research Festival 2016, was part of a wider LSE celebration of pioneering social scientist Charles Booth, who died in 1916, and whose original survey into life and labour in London is held in the LSE Library.

Booth's investigation of poverty in London provides a key example both of the creative development of social science and of the ways in which research may be used to have a positive impact on society. The event brought together a group of scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the substance of Booth's ideas as well as his broader legacy for the social sciences and for contemporary social analysis.

Watch video recordings here.

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Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the US and Europe

12 October 2016

Speaker: Professor David Stasavage
Chair: Professor David Soskice

In today's social climate of growing inequality, why are there not greater efforts to tax the rich? David Stasavage asks when and why countries tax their wealthiest citizens.

Watch video recording here

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2016 APPAM Interantional Conference

13-14 June 2016

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 2016 conference was held at the International Inequalities Institute on June 13th & 14th 2016.

This international conference gathered policy researchers and analysts from around the globe to share the latest research and knowledge on the pressing challenge on inequality.

More details and video recording here.

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Challenging Inequalities

25 May 2016

Speakers: Craig Calhoun, Shami Chakrabarti, Duncan Green and Phumeza Mlungwana

This public lecture followed the III Annual Conference 2016 and debated different approaches to challenging inequality across the globe.

Listen to podcast here.

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III Annual Conference 2016

25 May 2016

Speakers: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Nicola Lacey, Kim Weeden, Stephen Jenkins, Facundo Alvaredo, Katharina Hecht, Satanuka Roy, Rebecca Simson, Thomas Piketty, Murray Leibbrandt, Catherine Boone, John Hills, Deborah Hargreaves, David Soskice

An international gathering to discuss inequality held at Friends House, London.

Watch video recordings here.

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

21 March 2016

MacArthur 'Genius' award winning ethnographer Matthew Desmond speaks about his investigation into the low-income rental market and eviction in privately owned housing, and argues it is a cause, not just a symptom, of poverty.

Podcast available here.



Standing Out: Transgender Candidates Around the World

4 November 2015

Standing Out is the first report to address the phenomenon of transgender people running for office around the world. Read the report.

At this event, held at the LSE on 4th November 2015, transgender candidates from around the world shared their experience of politics and elections, and academics discussed how increased visibility increases acceptance.


  • Bemz Benedito is a founding member and chairperson for the Ang Ladlad Party in the Philippines, the first party in the world dedicated solely to advancing justice and human rights for LGBT members of society.

  • Logan Casey is a doctoral candidate in the University of Michigan's Department of Political Science.

  • Andrew Reynolds is Director of the LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative and a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Social Class in the 21st Century

2 November 2015

Speakers: Mike Savage, Niall Cunningham, Fiona Devine, Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison, Lisa McKenzie, Andrew Mile, Helene Snee, Paul Wakeling

Social class has re-emerged as a topic of enormous scholarly and public attention. Mike Savage and the team of sociologists responsible for the Great British Class Survey  discussed their findings and proposed a new way of thinking about social class in Britain today, arguing that while the class war was over the new politics of class are only just beginning.

Watch video recording here.

Jane Waldfogel

Too Many Children Left Behind: the US achievement gap in comparative perspective

21 October 2015

Speaker: Jane Waldfogel
Discussant: Dr Lee Elliot Major

Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University explains her work as part of a team of social scientists who compared educational outcomes and their link to family socio-economic status across the English speaking world.

Video recording available here.

Luna elite property

Elite and Urban Dynamics: New Perspectives Conference

22 July 2015

Supported by the ESRC as part of their Alpha Territory project researching London's 'super-rich' Neighbourhoods.

A one-day seminar was organised by Rowland Atkinson (University of Sheffield), Roger Burrows (Goldsmiths) and Mike Savage (LSE), taking place at LSE on Wednesday 22nd July 2015 in three sessions:

1. The resurgence of elite sociology

  • Elites Without Hierarchies: Intermediaries, 'Agency' and the Super-rich
    Will Davies

  • Life in the Alpha Territory, results from a two-year study
    Rowland Atkinson and Roger Burrows, Luna Glucksberg, Caroline Knowles and David Rhodes

  • Elites in the Great British Class Survey
    Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman

  • Getting Ahead? Meritocratic Elites and the Gendered Body in the Age of Egg Freezing and Wearables
    Charis Thompson

2. Urbanism and Wealth

  • London and Hong Kong
    Hang Kei Ho

  • A New City for Croesus
    Simon Parker, Rowland Atkinson and Roger Burrows

  • Conflicts of Taste and Values in an Elite London Suburb
    Richard Webber - View Presentation Slides

3. New agendas and Future Research

  • Elite Research and the LSE International Inequalities Institute
    John Hills, Tania Burchardt and others.

  • The Gentrification of Gentrification
    Luna Glucksberg, Rowland Atkinson, Tim Butler and Dave Rhodes

  • The Elite London Vortex
    Niall Cunningham and Mike Savage - View Presentation Slides


The Great Divide

19 May 2015

Speaker: Joseph Stiglitz

Chair: John Hills

Joseph Stiglitz talked about his new book, The Great Divide, expanding on the diagnosis he offered in The Price of Inequality, and suggesting ways to counter this growing problem.

Watch video recording here.

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Inequality in the 21st Century

11 May 2015

Speakers: Stuart Corbridge, David Soskice, Wendy Carlin, Bob Rowthorn, Diane Perrons, Stephanie Seguino, Lisa McKenzie, Naila Kabeer, Thomas Piketty Laura Bear, Gareth Jones, Mike Savage, Julia Black, John Hills and Tony Atkinson

A day long conference with Thomas Piketty, Centenial Professor at the III whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been of global significance in shaping debates about inequality. The conference marked the official launch of the III.

Watch video recording here.


Inequality: what can be done?

Joint event with Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)

Speaker: Tony Atkinson
Discussants: Tom Clark and Baroness Lister
Chair: Nicholas Stern

Professor Sir Tony Atkinson argues that present levels of inequality are not inevitable and that there are concrete measures to be taken to tackle inequality.

Podcast available here.