GV4D4 Half Unit
The Politics of Inequality and Redistribution
This information is for the 2013/14 session.
Dr Jonathan Hopkin CON5.18
This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union, MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course provides an overview of contemporary redistributive politics in the rich democracies. The objective is to explain why the distribution of wealth, income and opportunities differs so much between democratic countries with similar levels of economic development. The course draws largely on literature from the field of comparative politics, although perspectives from other disciplines - such as economics and social policy - are brought in as appropriate. The focus is on tracing the interactions between political institutions such as political parties and elections, labour market institutions, and the redistributive institutions of the welfare state. This approach is used to examine the growth of the public sector in the twentieth century, the differences between Social Democratic and Christian Democratic welfare states, the impact of wage bargaining institutions, the redistributive implications of age, gender and territorial location, and redistribution through corruption and rent-seeking. By tracing interactions between constitutional arrangements, electoral politics, and the institutions of the welfare system and the labour market, explanations can be provided for the striking differences in social cohesion and human development amongst the world's rich democracies.
15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 3 hours of seminars in the ST.
All students are expected to submit one non-assessed essay.
Esping-Andersen, Gosta (1990), The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press; Pontusson, Jonas (2005). Inequality and Prosperity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press; Kenworthy, Lane (2004). Egalitarian Capitalism. New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Boix, Carles (2003). Democracy and Redistribution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Alesina, Alberto and Edward Glaeser (2004). Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe. A World of Difference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Student performance results
(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Total students 2012/13: 35
Average class size 2012/13: 12
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Application of numeracy skills
- Commercial awareness