Programme and presentations: The Politics of Inequality - DLP Annual Conference 2015
See resources from the DLP Annual Conference 2015, which took place on 12 February at the University of Birmingham.
Inequality has recently been rediscovered by academics and policymakers, from Palma to Piketty, from Obama to the post-2015 High Level Panel. But the scope of much of the debate is narrow. Wealth and income draw most of the attention. Other inequalities – based on gender, ethnicity or geography, for example – tend to be overlooked. Questions are asked about inequalities between individuals, but less often about why entire groups fare less well than others. And what of the political, social and economic processes that lie behind inequalities?
How does politics create or maintain inequalities, and which inequalities, and why? Who are the actors, what are the social structures involved? How do power, norms and ideas sustain inequalities? What is the role of leadership in perpetuating or alleviating inequalities? The conference considered the politics of inequality – and the inequality of politics.
David Hudson provides a discussion starter: 'Inequality – the politics behind the policies'.
Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture 2015: ‘Inequality, Justice and Policy'
Frances Stewart (Emeritus Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford)
Against a background of high and rising inequality, what might a just distribution be? This keynote presentation also considered instrumental considerations, notably the impact of alternative distributions on efficiency, sustainability and conflict. View slides (PDF, 350 KB).
Clips from this presentation
Session 2: The Politics of Redistribution
Chair: Caryn Peiffer (Research Fellow, DLP, University of Birmingham)
More History, Less Maths: Understanding Development
Duncan Green (Senior Strategic Adviser, Oxfam GB)
Duncan Green summarises his talk and future plans for the politics of redistribution research project in a blog post (FP2P).
Clips from this presentation
The Politics of Redistribution: The Case of Brazil
Siân Herbert (Research Fellow, GSDRC, University of Birmingham)
A Framework for Understanding the Politics of Redistribution
Niheer Dasandi (Research Fellow, DLP, UCL)
Q&A on the Politics of Redistribution
Session 3: Politics, Inequality, and Conflict
‘The Hunger Games: Food Prices, Horizontal Inequality and Social Conflict in Africa’ (PDF, 570 KB)
Luke Abbs (Doctoral researcher, University of Kent)
‘Uncounted: Post-2015 and the politics of measurement’ (PDF, 290 KB)
Blog post – 'Uncounted: has the post-2015 data revolution failed already?'
Alex Cobham (Director of Research, Tax Justice Network)
‘Elites, politics and inequality in post-coup Honduras: towards inclusive development?’ (PDF, 140 KB)
Sarah Hunt (Lecturer in International Development, University of Manchester)
Chair: Gillian Fletcher (Research Fellow, DLP, La Trobe University)
Session 4: Inequality and Political Settlements
‘Elites, Political Settlements and Economic Reform: Understanding Why Nigeria’s Growth Engenders Inequalities’ (PDF, 700 KB)
Zainab Usman (Doctoral researcher, University of Oxford)
‘Legitimising Inequality and Chasing Developmentalism in Rwanda’
Pritish Behuria (Doctoral researcher, SOAS)
‘Empowerment for all? Addressing inequalities in women’s political and public participation’ (PDF, 94 KB)
Abigail Hunt (Policy & Advocacy Manager, Womankind Worldwide)
Chair: Tait Brimacombe (Research Fellow, DLP, La Trobe University)
Session 5: Roundtable: Propositions on the Politics of Inequality
Within a light-hearted 'contest'-style format, panellists raised important ideas as they set out some key challenges of inequality and ways of tackling it. See clips from this session below, and David Hudson's blog post reflecting on the panel discussion.
- Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (Head of Research, Oxfam GB)
- Paul Healey (Head of Profession, Social Development, DFID)
- Samuel Hickey (Professor of Politics and Development and Joint Director of Research, Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre, University of Manchester)
- Carole Rakodi (Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham)
- Mariz Tadros (Research Fellow, IDS)
Chair: Chris Roche (Senior Research Partner, DLP, La Trobe University)
Session 6: Final Reflections on Inequality, Politics and Governance
Alina Rocha Menocal (Senior Research Fellow, DLP, University of Birmingham)
Chair: Heather Marquette (Director, DLP, University of Birmingham)
See Alina Rocha Menocal's DLP blog post for her reflections on the day: 'When the stars align to tackle inequality'
See also #polinequality on Twitter for a flavour of the event.