Upcoming INEQ guest talks

Upcoming talks from some of the leading academics on multilayered questions of intersecting inequalities. Here you will also find a complete list and descriptions of INEQ's past guest talks.

How to protect the environment in an unequal world?

Online via Zoom, at 15:00-16:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Lucas Chancel is Co-Director of the World Inequality Lab at the Paris Scool of Economics (PSE) and Affiliate Professor at Sciences Po. He is also an Associate Researcher at PSE and at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, as well as Senior Advisor at the European Tax Observatory, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School. Chancel is an economist, specialized in inequality and in environmental policy. His work focuses on the measurement of economic inequality, its interactions with sustainable development and on the implementation of social and ecological policies. He is the author of Unsustainable Inequalities: Social Justice and the Environment (2020, Harvard University Press).

This lecture will present the latest findings of the World Inequality Report 2022 and discuss policy options to tackle extreme inequality. The report draws from the work of a network of over 100 researchers affiliated with the World Inequality Database. The 2022 edition includes novel results on global wealth inequalities, gender gaps and ecological inequalities.

Commentators: Associate Professor Michiru Nagatsu (UH, Practical Philosophy) and Doctoral Researcher Milja Heikkinen (UH, En­vir­on­mental Sci­ences)

Moderator: Anna-Leena Riitaoja, INEQ Research Coordinator

Please register for the event via E-form by June 6. Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent only to registered participants.

Gender Inequality in the Global South: The Role of Social Institutions

Porthania P674 and online, at 10-12 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Since 2015, global progress made in bridging gender gaps in both economic and social dimensions of women’s lives has been marginal. Recent gender gap indexes show that sub-Sahara Africa, South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa continue to lag behind the rest of the world in achieving gender parity. It has become clear that rising per capita income does not necessarily eradicate all forms of inequality. Social institutions and norms, described as social principles that govern the behaviour of a society also wield an important influence on various dimensions of women’s economic and social lives and have the potential to perpetuate existing gender gaps in areas such as education, employment, and other autonomy indicators. This talk aims to highlight specific discriminatory social norms and practices, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and how they have impacted gender inequality. Gleaning from recent empirical research, the talk highlights policies, programs, and interventions that are currently being employed and have shown some promise in various countries in the Global South to minimize the gender gaps in these contexts. The address emphasis on the need for a more holistic approach-which combines improvement in economic growth and changes in harmful social practices in tackling the issues of gender inequality in the sub-region.

Dr Monica Lambon-Quayefio is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon and a Researcher at the Africa Centre of Excellence in Inequality Research (ACEIR). Her broad research interests are demographic and health economics with a particular focus on human capital development pertaining to maternal and child health, as well as education and labour market outcomes in developing country contexts. She has experience in analysing cross-sectional and longitudinal data, including large-scale national household surveys such as the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Surveys using both applied econometric and spatial econometric techniques. Her recent research projects have examined the relationship between child labour and intergenerational poverty, structural transformation and inequality and inclusive growth, as well as the inequality of opportunities and education outcomes. Her research has been published in development and health economics-related journals, including Oxford Development Studies and Applied Health and Health Policy.

Commentators: Commentator: Dr Milla Nyyssölä, Research Associate at The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and Chief Researcher at Labore

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, Director of INEQ

Please register for the event via E-form by June 1. Registration is mandatory. Further information on attending the event and the Zoom link will be sent only to registered participants.

This event is part of Inequality Awareness Week organized by INEQ on May 30-June 2, 2022.

Nav­ig­at­ing the Com­plex­it­ies of Chal­len­ging In­equal­it­ies

17:00–18:30, online via Zoom

This talk will explore some of the complexities and paradoxes of challenging historical and systemic ongoing inequalities in contexts characterized by VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), unsustainability and unequal North-South relations. It will draw on insights from a research collaboration between the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Arts/Research collective (GTDF) and the Federation of the Huni Kui Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon. The talk will include a video from Chief Ninawa Huni Kui offering an Indigenous perspective on our current global collective predicament.

Professor Vanessa Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change at UBC. Her research examines historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these limit or enable possibilities for collective existence and global change. Her publications in this field include analyses of political economies of knowledge production, discussions of the ethics of international development, and critical comparisons of ideals of globalism and internationalization in education and in global activism, with an emphasis on representations of and relationships with marginalized communities. Andreotti's work in teacher education conceptualizes education as an expansion of frames of reference and of fields of signification with a view to expanding possibilities for ethical solidarities. Her academic work is committed to protecting the public role of the university as critic and conscience of society and as a space of independent, multi-voiced, critically informed and socially accountable debates about alternative futures.

Moderator: Mandira Halder, visiting research fellow at INEQ

Please register for the event via E-form by May 29. Registration is mandatory and the Zoom link will be sent only to registered participants.

This talk is part of a seminar on INEQ's Inequality Awareness Week that brings together key scholars in the multidisciplinary area of inequalities to discuss on the societal relevance of inequality research on 30 May–2 June 2022. The seminar is jointly organized by INEQ, AGORA for the Study of Social Justice and Equality Research Centre, and international student association One Step Ahead (OSA).

[POSTPONED, we are looking for another time]

The Challenge of Right-wing Nationalist Populism for Social Work

Online via Zoom, at 10:00-11:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

In this presentation we would like to give (a) an introduction followed (b) by two examples how the rise of right-wing populism impacts on social-political and cultural formations. In the introduction Professor Noble will briefly describe some definitions and features and challenges especially to social work where we locate our professional identities and activities, then we will outline our two examples to illustrate our concerns.

In the first example Dr Ottmann will give an overview of how, in Australia, right-wing nationalist populism radically changed the basis on which welfare is being provided. He will document the shifts from a rights-based welfare to an increasingly punitive behaviour change model bringing to the fore two core policies designed to police compliance, thereby introducing surveillance, compliance focussed social assistance, sanctions and behaviour modification as basis of offering and receiving welfare services. This gradual move to repressive right-wing policies directly challenges social work’s values and claims to be a rights-based profession. Some ideas of counteracting this development are outlined.

In the second example Professor Noble draws attention to how anti-genderism found a re-emergence with the rise of right-wing populist leaders who blatantly flaunted misogynistic attitudes and behaviours, fighting for gender power to remain securely in white men’s hands. Anti-gender populism reflected the growing frustration of white men (in particular) with reduced economic power who, rather than address the economic sources of their miseries, turned to strengthening patriarchal values and personal power. A progressive feminist response is briefly outlined.

Finally, we ask where to now? And invite some commentary.

Carolyn Noble is Former Associate Dean and Foundation Professor of Social Work at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) in Sydney and Emerita Professor of Social Work at Victoria University, Melbourne. She is author and co-author of several books and many chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Her research interests include social work theory, philosophy and ethics, work-based learning, professional supervision and gender justice. She is editor-in-chief of open access social issues magazine for The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). 

Goetz Ottmann is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the Federation University in Australia. He has published extensively on a range of topic including the construction of citizenship in countries within the context of under-developed welfare states and the impact of participatory budgeting and policy making on the development of effective welfare services. He has published three books and numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

This talk is based on the current book Noble, C. and Ottmann, G. (eds). (2021). The Challenge of Right-wing Nationalist Populism for Social Work. Oxon: Routledge.

Commentators: University Researcher Emilia Palonen (UH) & Postdoctoral Researcher Tuomo Kokkonen (University of Jyväskylä)

Russian oligarchs and Western sanctions

Porthania P674 and online, at 14:00 (UTC+2h, Finnish local time)

Western responses to Russia’s pending and then materialising invasion of Ukraine brought home two aspects of elite power and relations. First, it provided the scale of which the interests of economic and political elites are intertwined on an international scale. Second, it proved how beneficial it is for them to promote the distinction of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ wealth and power. The former is presented as being down to merit, hard work and personality traits. The latter are to be blamed for the economic and social grievances. I will elaborate on these two thoughts on the example of the recent individual sanction lists that were compiled by US, the EU and the UK in response to Russian aggression. What do the choices Western leaders tell us about international elite networks, the lobbying of industry sectors and the merger of overlap of interests among economic superplayers and elite circles in power positions? I will also try to disentangle the convoluted dynamics between the Kremlin, Russian oligarchs and the British establishment.

Elisabeth Schimpfössl  is an expert on Russian elites and the author of the book Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie (2018, Oxford University Press). She works as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK, and is a visiting fellow at LSE's International Inequalities Institute. Her research focuses on the sociology of elites, power and social inequality, as well as on media and journalism in post-communist Europe.

Commentators: Academy Research Fellow Hanna Kuusela (Tampere University), Professor Markku Kivinen (UH)

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, Director of INEQ

Please register for the event via E-form by March 20. Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

Organized in collaboration with "Cultures of Private Capital in 21st Century Finland" project (Hanna Kuusela)

Globalizing the Algorithmic Turn

Online via Zoom, at 16:00–17:30 (UTC+2h, Finnish local time)

Virginia Eubanks has been exploring the use of high-tech tools in social assistance since 1999. After the publication of her generative book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (St. Martin's, 2018), she was struck by how rarely she heard explicitly cross-national stories about boundary-smashing practices such as algorithmic decision-making, remote eligibility, and digital service delivery. Curious and committed to making conversations about the social justice challenges of automated welfare more global, Eubanks and her colleague Andrea Quijada (University of New Mexico) began collecting oral histories on the subject in 2020. Narrated by service beneficiaries themselves, these stories explore day-to-day experiences of the digital transformation of public services in Australia, Colombia, Indonesia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States (so far). Join us for an informal conversation about the project's results to date and to help inform oral history collection in Finland, set to occur in March 2022.

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (2018), Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age (2011), and co-editor of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (2014). Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a 2016-2017 Fellow at New America.

Commentators: Professor Minna van Gerven (TUNI, Social Policy) & Associate Professor Minna Ruckenstein (UH, Centre for Consumer Society Research and Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities)

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, Director of INEQ

Please register for the event via E-form by February 14. Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

Organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tampere University.

Please note that this event will not be recorded.

Globalization, inequality, and health policy

Online via Zoom, at 14:00–15:30 (UTC+2h, Finnish local time)

Meri Koivusalo is Professor of Global Health and Development at Tampere University and has expertise in global and transnational health and social policy, trade and global governance for health. She is interested in global health issues, but has a particular interest in the relationship between economic globalization, trade and health, health systems and politics, and practice of global health policy-making. Koivusalo has a background in public health medicine with a PhD in environmental health and an MSc from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has co-authored and edited academic and text books in the area of global health as well as worked with Finnish government, European Commission, WHO-Geneva, UNRISD and a number of international nongovernmental organizations. Koivusalo is currently a member of the WHO expert panel on science and technology.

Abstract: In this talk I will discuss health policy in relation to globalization and in particular, globalization as economic integration. While focus on globalization and health has traditionally been in low- and middle-income countries, a renewed interest has emerged not only as result of pandemics, but as well due to questions arising from inequalities and politics in high-income countries, from commercial and trade policies under multilateral governance, and increasing market power of industries relevant to health, currently known as commercial determinants of health.    

Please register for this talk via E-form by November 16. 

Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

Commentators: Research Director Ville-Pekka Sorsa (UH), UHealth – Interdisciplinary Research for Health and Well-being profile-building area, Professor Anne Kouvonen (UH, Social Policy)

Moderator: Senior Researcher Meri Kulmala, Director of INEQ

Deepening engagements with decolonization: Lessons from STEM

Online via Zoom, at 17:00-18:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Professor Vanessa Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change at UBC. Her research examines historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these limit or enable possibilities for collective existence and global change. Her publications in this field include analyses of political economies of knowledge production, discussions of the ethics of international development, and critical comparisons of  ideals of globalism and internationalization in education and in global activism,  with an emphasis on representations of and relationships with marginalized communities. Andreotti's work in teacher education conceptualizes education as an expansion of frames of reference and of fields of signification with a view to expanding possibilities for ethical solidarities. Her academic work is committed to protecting the public role of the university as critic and conscience of society and as a space of independent, multi-voiced, critically informed and socially accountable debates about alternative futures.

Assistant Professor Sharon Stein works at the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. Her research brings critical and decolonial perspectives to the study and practice of internationalization, decolonization, and sustainability in higher education. Through this work, Stein seeks to interrupt common colonial patterns of educational engagement, including: uneven, paternalistic, and extractive relationships between dominant and marginalized communities; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric imaginaries of justice, responsibility, and change. In her work on higher education and beyond, Stein emphasizes both the importance and the difficulty of addressing the interrelated ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, political and economic dimensions of local and global (in)justice.

Abstract:  In this presentation we review the approach to decolonization developed by our collective, Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures, and offer preliminary insights from our research about the decolonization of STEM disciplines. This work has two primary dimensions: 1) identifying the challenges and complexities of redressing STEM’s historical and ongoing legacies of colonial harm; and 2) fostering deepened cognitive, affective, and relational capacities for engaging with these challenges and complexities, so that we might ultimately learn to weave together different knowledge systems in socially relevant and ethically accountable ways. In particular, we will review a series of pedagogical frameworks that we have developed for inviting intellectually and relationally rigorous engagements with decolonization in today’s volatile, uncertain, and hyper-complex institutional contexts. 

Please register for this talk via E-form by October 24. 

Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

Comments: Associate Professor Kris Clarke (UH, Social Work), Associate Professor Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (UH, Indigenous Studies), University Lecturer Talayeh Aledavood (Aalto University, Computer Science)

Moderator: Research Coordinator Anna-Leena Riitaoja, INEQ

The Return of Inequality

Online via Zoom, at 14:00 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and the former director of the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute. Savage's role at LSE builds on his long standing interests in analysing social stratification and inequality. Savage has played a major role in the revival of the sociology of social class in recent decades so that it has become once more a central plank of the discipline. His approach has four distinctive elements: a deep concern to recognise the intersectional and cultural dimensions of social inequalities; insistence on understanding inequality spatially; commitment to a strongly historical approach to analysis; and seeing rigorous research methods as fundamental to sociological inquiry. Savage brings these interests together to renew interests in class analysis so that they are better attuned to contemporary urgencies, especially associated with the burgeoning fortunes of the super-rich.

Please register for this talk via E-form by September 24. 

Registration is mandatory and Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

Abstract: The economic facts of inequality are clear. The rich have been pulling away from the rest of us for years, and the super-rich have been pulling away from the rich. More and more assets are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Mainstream economists say we need not worry; what matters is growth, not distribution. In this talk Mike Savage discusses his new book The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past (2021), where he pushes back, explaining inequality’s profound deleterious effects on the shape of societies.

Savage shows how economic inequality aggravates cultural, social, and political conflicts, challenging the coherence of liberal democratic nation-states. Put simply, severe inequality returns us to the past. By fracturing social bonds and harnessing the democratic process to the strategies of a resurgent aristocracy of the wealthy, inequality revives political conditions we thought we had moved beyond: empires and dynastic elites, explosive ethnic division, and metropolitan dominance that consigns all but a few cities to irrelevance. Inequality, in short, threatens to return us to the very history we have been trying to escape since the Age of Revolution.

This talk is organized in coopeation with BIBU – Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation.

Comments: Professor Anu Kantola (UH, Media and Communication Studies), Director of BIBU; Professor Risto Kunelius (UH, Media and Communication Studies), Director of HSSH; and Associate Professor Johanna Rainio-Niemi (UH, Political History), INEQ

Moderator: Senior Researcher Meri Kulmala, Director of INEQ

A Sense of Inequality

Online via Zoom, at 14:00-15:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Dr Wendy Bottero currently works in the Department of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, at the University of Manchester. Her research interests focus on social hierarchies, and how inequalities are wound through our social connections and personal ties. She explores these concepts from three different angles within her work: using the patterning of social ties to map hierarchies; thinking about how social ties and interaction can help us to theorize hierarchy and inequality; and exploring how our web of social connections affects the visibility of inequality. Wendy Bottero is the author of ‘A Sense of Inequality’ (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019) which extends her work theorizing the subjectivities of inequality. She is also the author of ‘Stratification: Social Division and Inequality’ (Routledge, 2005), which offers an exciting perspective on differentiation and inequality, by investigating how our most personal choices are influenced by hierarchy and social difference.

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Abstract: In this talk Wendy Bottero discusses a key argument from her book, 'A Sense of Inequality' (2019). The book brings together a range of different literatures in order to better understand what provokes a sense of inequality. Bottero argues that we must locate people’s knowledge, beliefs and values about inequality within a more situated understanding of their practical engagements and concerns. One difficulty is that many analysts’ main interest in subjective inequality rests in how people’s understandings affect their consent or challenge to relations of inequality.  This question is an important one, but we must first analyse people’s understandings of inequality on their own terms, locating them within their ordinary practical concerns and contexts of activity, and emerging as part of their struggles to resolve their problems of experience.

Discussant: Associate Professor Lena Näre (UH), Sociology

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, INEQ Director

NB! The talk has been postponed from May 5 to May 11.

Why No Economic Democracy in Sweden? A Counterfactual Approach

Online via Zoom, at 14:00-15:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and is the co-founder of The Quality of Government (QoG) Institute, an independent research institute within the Department of Political Science. He served as professor of government and public policy and professorial fellow of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford in 2016 and 2017 and has been a visiting fellow at Cornell University, Harvard University and Stanford University.

Quality of political institutions, welfare politics, and corruption have been at the forefront of Rothstein's research. His main publications include 'Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare' (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 'The Quality of Government: The Political Logic of Corruption, Inequality and Social Trust' (University of Chicago Press, 2011), 'Making Sense of Corruption' (together with Aiysha Varraich; Cambridge University Press, 2017), and 'Controlling Corruption: The Social Contract Approach' (Oxford University Press, 2021). Rothstein is also a prolific contributor to the public debate and an advocate for academic freedom.

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Abstract: Companies that are owned and/or governed by their employees, through a co-operative, a stock-option plan or an employee trust, have been studied empirically for almost four decades. The results show that such companies perform on average better and have higher productivity than firms that are governed by outside capitalists/owners/investors and they pay somewhat higher wages. In addition, they have far less turnover of personnel and employees are more satisfied with their working conditions. In many cases, such companies make a very significant contribution to decreasing economic inequality because, in addition to their higher salaries, employees also benefit from the capital in the company, usually in the form of substantially higher pensions. People working in such firms tend to be more pro-democratic and civic oriented.

Given these many positive results, this talk poses a counterfactual question: why has economic democracy, in the form of employee-owned and/or governed companies, not been on the political agenda in Sweden? There are many reasons why we should have seen such companies mushrooming in Sweden, given its strong labour movement and Social Democratic party, yet the country has comparatively few. Three explanations are presented: the organisational interest of the trade unions in organisational learning, the conflation by the political left of capitalism and markets and the political debacle of the ‘wage-earner funds’ policy.

Discussant: Professor Heikki Hiilamo (UH), Social Policy

Moderator: INEQ Associate Professor of Contemporary History Johanna Rainio-Niemi

Inequality, Stagnation, Financialization and the Global South

Online via Zoom, at 14:00-15:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Dr. Yılmaz Akyüz was the Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies and Chief Economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) when he retired in August 2003. He also served as the chief economist of the South Centre, an Intergovernmental Think Tank of the Developing Countries, between June 2009 and August 2018. Yilmaz Akyüz taught at various universities in Europe before joining UNCTAD in 1984 and after his retirement. He has published several articles and books in macroeconomics, finance, growth and development, including 'Playing With Fire' (Oxford University Press, 2017). Dr Akyüz is second holder of the Tun Ismail Ali International Chair in Monetary and Financial Economics at the University of Malaya.

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Abstract: Inequality is not only a social but also a macroeconomic problem. The secular decline in the share of wages in national income, the increased concentration of wealth and growing financialization are among the central causes of slowdown in accumulation and growth in major advanced economies. Attempts to overcome stagnation by creating credit and asset bubbles through ultra-easy money and financial deregulation have not only added to inequality and financialization, aggravated the demand gap and reduced potential growth, but also entailed significant repercussions for emerging economies. They have generated exceptionally favourable global financial conditions for them and an unprecedented surge in capital inflows in a search-for-yield in high-risk, high-return assets, accelerating their integration into international finance and deepening their linkages with mature markets. These have increased their vulnerability to external financial shocks and led to significant resource transfers to advanced economies through financial channels.

This talk is organized in collaboration with The Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy (Helsinki-GPE).

Discussant: Professor Heikki Patomäki (UH), Political Science

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, INEQ Director

Capitalism, Alone

Online via Zoom, at 18:00-19:30 (UTC+3h, Finnish local time)

Branko Milanovic is one of the world’s leading economists of inequality. He is a Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality. He served as lead economist in the World Bank’s Research Department for almost 20 years, leaving to write his book on global income inequality, 'Worlds Apart' (2005).  Milanovic also served as a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington (2003-2005).

Branko Milanovic is best known for a breakthrough study of global income inequality from 1988 to 2008, approximately spanning the period from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the global financial crisis. His main area of work involves income inequality, in both individual countries and globally, including in pre-industrial societies. His research interests include global inequality, globalization, history of inequality and macroeconomy. Milanovic has published numerous articles on the empirics and methodology of global income distribution and the effects of globalization.

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Abstract: The talk, based on Milanovic's recent book 'Capitalism, Alone' (2019), will discuss and analyze systemic inequalities in liberal capitalist societies with the special emphasis on the phenomenon of homoploutia, that is, of high incomes from both labor and capital received by the same persons. Homoploutia is one of key defining characteristics of modern capitalism, distinguishing it from its classical version. It is a desirable development because it reduces class-based distinctions, but it also encourages the formation of an elite that is more stable (thanks to its diversification of assets, including skills) and able to transfer these advantages across generations.

Twitter @BrankoMilan 

Blog globalinequality

Discussant: Professor Teivo Teivainen (UH), World Politics

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, INEQ Director

Relations of Extraction, Relations of Redistribution: Empire, Nation, and the Construction of the British Welfare State

Online via Zoom, at 12:00-13:30 (UTC+2h, Finnish local time )

Gurminder K Bhambra is a Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the Department of International Relations in the School of Global Studies, at the University of Sussex. While her research interests are primarily in the area of postcolonial and global historical sociology, she is also interested in the intersection of the social sciences more generally with recent work in postcolonial and decolonial studies. Her current projects are on epistemological justice and reparations and on the political economy of race and colonialism. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, elected 2020.

She is author of 'Connected Sociologies' (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the award-winning 'Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination' (Palgrave, 2007). She is a co-author of the forthcoming book, 'Colonialism and Modern Social Theory' (Polity, 2021). She set up the Global Social Theory website (globalsocialtheory.org) and is co-editor of the social research magazine, Discover Society (discoversociety.org).

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Abstract: The consolidation of the British welfare state in the mid-twentieth century did not only coincide with the systematic dismantling of the British empire but was significantly shaped by the empire that preceded it. The story that tends to be told about the welfare state, however, situates it firmly within the national context. Such understandings go on to shape contemporary political debates centered on questions of entitlement and concerns over legitimacy. In this presentation, I reassess the standard accounts of taxation and welfare that are claimed to be central to the construction of the nation to demonstrate how taking the empire into account offers the possibility of a different political response to the challenges we are faced with today.

Twitter @gkbhambra


Discussant: Professor Teivo Teivainen (UH), World Politics

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, INEQ Director

Developing Age-friendly Communities with Older People as Co-researchers: An Inclusivity-Exclusivity Perspective

Online via Zoom, at 12.00–13.30 (Finnish local time, UTC+2h)

Dr. Tine Buffel is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, where she directs the Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group (MUARG). Her research career has been distinguished by a commitment to working with community partnerships to study and address equity and social justice issues. Building on a background of innovative participatory and co-production methodologies with older people, she has been particularly interested in studying questions relating to neighbourhood and community life in later life, social inequality and exclusion, urban deprivation and developing ‘age-friendly’ environments.

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Abstract: This presentation provides a critical review of some of the key questions and underlying assumptions that surround the participation of older people in research. This theme is addressed through a study which involved older people as co-researchers in developing age-friendly communities in Manchester, UK. Through the application of a participatory methodology, older people were involved not only as the research target group, but also as experts and actors in the various stages of the research, including the planning, design and realization of the project. This presentation reflects on both opportunities and challenges associated with the involvement of older people as co-researchers, and discusses the potential of the research approach for developing community networks and empowerment on the one hand, and the risks for increasing exclusion and creating new forms of disempowerment on the other. The discussion considers the implications of the findings for developing age-friendly communities in complex urban environments.

Discussant: Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania, PhD, Researcher at Ikäinstituutti (Age Institute)

Moderator: Meri Kulmala, INEQ Research Coordinator

Family Di­versity in the Dual-earner Model

Online via Zoom, at 10–11.00 (Finnish local time, UTC+2h)

As­so­ci­ate Pro­fessor Rense Nieuwen­huis (SOFI, Stock­holm University) will address vertical and horizontal aspects of economic inequality from the comparative perspective of the income distribution of various household types within the context of dual-earner family model. The guest talk is part of INEQ’s “Inequality Talks”, a new series of online lectures addressing a wide range of issues related to inequality.

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Abstract: Ongoing debates about high and rising inequality largely ignore aspects of gender and family diversity. The rise of women’s earnings, in part supported by the dual-earner / dual caregiver model, is known to have reduce income inequality between households – at least when it comes to couples. In this presentation, Rense Nieuwenhuis will provide a brief introduction to his project on integrating vertical and horizontal aspects of economic inequality. He will then examine what the impact of the rise of the dual-earner family model has been on the position in the income distribution of various household types – including relative income position of single adults, single parents and ‘breadwinner couples’.

Using pooled cross-sectional data from the LIS Database, that allows following a large number of OECD countries over a long period of time, this study tests two contrasting hypotheses. The competition hypothesis reads that the rise of dual-earner households poses an insurmountable competition for a position in the income distribution to single earners (single adults, single parents and single-earner couples), thus increasing the sorting of household types across the income distribution. The spillover hypothesis is based on the notion that the rise of the dual-earner model represents an adaptation of society to the changing economic roles of women. The rise of the dual-earner/dual caregiver model of family policy (e.g. work-family reconciliation policies), decreasing the size of the gender pay gap, and longer work histories before becoming single (parent) contribute to the economic position of singles – and in particular single mothers. Understood this way, the rise of the dual-earner model, may be expected to have strengthened the economic position of those who need it the most – households with only a single earner – thus integrating various household types across the income distribution.

Nieuwenhuis is an associate professor in sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) at Stockholm University, and examines how family diversity and social policy affect poverty and economic inequality. Typically, his research is country-comparative and has a gender perspective. His recent focus was on single-parent families, how women’s earnings affect inequality between households, and family policy outcomes. He has published in journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, European Sociological Review, Acta Sociologica, and Review of Income and Wealth. Recently, he co-edited the book ‘The triple bind of single-parent families’ and he is currently co-editing the ‘Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy’. Occasionally, he acts as independent expert doing commissioned work on gender equality for organisations such as UN Women, the European Commission, and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).


Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Social Media

Online via Zoom, at 11–12 (Finnish local time, UTC+2h)

Philip Howard is a Professor of Internet Studies and the Director of Oxford Internet Institute. Professor Howard  will be discussing his new book 'Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives' (2020). The guest talk is part of INEQ’s “Inequality Talks”, a new series of online lectures addressing a wide range of issues related to inequality.

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Abstract: Artificially intelligent fake accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. Big data from the social media firms, combined with interviews with internet trolls, bot writers and political operatives, demonstrates how misinformation gets produced, distributed and marketed. Ultimately, understanding how all the components work together is vital to dismantling such “lie machines” and strengthening democracy.



Some ideas about where inequality research is heading

Online via Zoom, at 10–11 (Finnish local time, UTC+3h)

Professor Danny Dorling will share his ideas about future directions and prospects of inequality research in INEQ’s “Inequality Talks”, a new series of online lectures addressing a wide range of issues related to inequality.

His talk builds on his upcoming book Finntopia, co-authored with Annika Koljonen, which addresses inequality relevant issues such as education and health. Dorling’s work on social inequality more widely focuses on the questions of housing, health, employment, education and poverty in Britain, for example. 

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Abstract: The talk is based on evidence collected together in a new book called Finntopia, however the talk is mostly not about Finland. I am interested in Inequality and just how harmful and widespread its effects may be. For instance, does growing up in a very unequal society at a very unequal time make political leaders more likely to be less able and also the electorate more amenable to vote such political leaders into power? It is well known that Finland ranks higher on more global indicators of well-being than any other country in the world, so why is this so assiduously ignored by some of the most unequal societies both in Europe and world-wide? For people based in the UK or USA it can often appear that Finland leads to world in many ways in terms of both concern and action of the environment. But within Finland there are many critics of government and corporate action on the environment. So is the forefront of new research on inequality within those places that are most equal, that have to work out what they do next, or is it where the evidence of the harms of inequality is most easy to measure and see? And finally, what do the huge geographic differences in the experience of and reactions to the 2020 pandemic tell us about the wider importance of inequality on health and government that we did not know before? Is the whole world at an inequality peak, as only the rich countries of the world last were a century ago?

[CANCELLED! We are look­ing for a new time]

Hu­man Costs of In­equal­ity – Evic­tions in Amer­ica

Think Corner (Stage) at 17–19

INEQ will host Professor Matthew Desmond, the author of the New York Times bestselling book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Evictions in American cities used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing. Eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. Professor Matthew Desmond’s talk takes us into neighborhoods where people have fallen behind. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Desmond’s acclaimed book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016) draws on years of embedded fieldwork. He also talks about the he work of Eviction Lab (Princeton university) which published the first-ever dataset of millions of evictions in America, going back to 2000, aiming to inform programs to prevent eviction and family homelessness, raise awareness of the centrality of housing insecurity in the lives of low-income families, and deepen our understanding of the fundamental drivers of poverty in America.


Gender Equal­ity Poli­cy­mak­ing in Non-Demo­cra­cies

Porth­ania (P545) at 10–12

Over the last decade, non-democratic regimes have been passing legislation that at least superficially addresses gender inequality, especially targeting violence against women. The cross-national studies of gender equality policymaking, especially on issues such as violence against women which require significant change in policy and practice, show that strong, autonomous feminist movements are the decisive factor, while in non-democratic regimes, informal links between women’s movements and key actors also crucial. This presentation will explore these gender-related policy dynamics through the tracing of three policymaking processes on domestic violence over the last decade: a 2013-16 attempt to pass comprehensive domestic violence reform, the criminalization of domestic violence in 2016, and the partial de-criminalization in 2017. These insights will be used to consider the current attempt to pass yet another domestic violence law that began last fall.

Janet Elise Johnson is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA, and FRIAS Senior Fellow/Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany. Her books include The Gender of Informal Politics (2018), Gender Violence in Russia (2009), and Living Gender after Communism (2007), with The Routledge International Handbook to Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia (edited with Katalin Fábián and Mara Lazda) forthcoming in 2021.

The event is hosted by INEQ together with Development of Russian Law program and Aleksanteri Institute.