Call for papers – Inequalities in a context of global recession

22 November 2010 par Communication scientifique

Inequalities in a context of global recession: Perceptions, framing and politicization


A vast literature exists on the measurement of global inequalities, between northern and southern countries as well as within each bloc. The figures are brutal. A recent report by the American Political Science Association revealed that in 2000, the richest 1% of the world population earned 415 times what the poorest 1% earned, a sharp rise in inequality since 1980, when the multiple was 216. Meanwhile the 2008 OECD report on “Growth and Inequalities” showed that the gap between rich and poor has been widening in the last twenty years in 3 out of 4 OECD countries, As the Secretary General of the World Trade Organization, Paul Lamy, recently reminded us, “ten years ago it still was politically correct, and roughly accurate, to speak of North South relations. This no longer holds true. There are in the world of today several Norths and several Souths. China is not Senegal, India is not Laos, Brazil is not Lesotho.» ). And the global recession that started in 2008 is exacerbating inequalities.


If the measurement of socioeconomic inequalities is a necessary first step, however, the mere measure of inequality does not allow us to evaluate inequality’s impact on the social and political bonds within a society, or on the relations and tensions between countries. The “subjective” dimension is lacking. We need to explore the ways in which inequalities are perceived, constructed, ranked, and politicized, and to explore whether they foster feelings of injustice that lead to revolt or political withdrawal. These issues remain too rarely studied.


This conference focuses on the perception, construction, and political framing of inequalities, either national or global, in different economic and political contexts. Research might include case studies of northern or southern countries, or transversal comparative inquiries articulating socioeconomic inequalities with gender, religion, class, and ethnic and racial cleavages,. Special consideration will be given to methodological problems (selection of cases, survey design, indicators, measures etc.)


Proposals (200 to 300 words maximum) will be accepted until January 31st., 2011

send to:


Working language: French, English

Comité de sélection/Selection committee.

Louis Chauvel (Sciences Po/ Observatoire sociologique du changement)

Marie Duru-Bellat (Sciences Po, Observatoire sociologique du changement)

Michèle Lamont (Harvard University)

Nonna Mayer (Sciences Po/ Centre d’études européennes, CNRS)

Laurence Tubiana (Sciences-Po/ Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales)

Funds should be available for a selected number of participants


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