Global Inequality: A Divided History

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Date / time: 19 April - 21 April, All day

Global History and Culture Centre

Global Inequality: A Divided History

Inequality has been at the centre of much debate in recent years. A fast growing literature on inequality has revealed a strong correlation between differences in wealth and globalizing forces. One important contribution to this debate has been Piketty’s book which provides an arena for the discussion of economic inequality as measured through differences in wealth and income within and between nations, and paints a historical analysis stretching back to the early nineteenth century. But inequality goes beyond the economic and it has a longer history: technology, education, gender, environment, ethnicity, health, labour and migration also have divided histories of inequality which begin in the early modern period and fully emerge in the eighteenth century.

This conference aims to bring together experts from history, sociology, politics, anthropology, and other social sciences and humanities disciplines. While the discussion will be informed by today’s debates over the subject, the overall aim of the conference is to investigate inequality from a historical perspective and consider in particular the period from the eighteenth century to the present. We embrace a definition of inequality that is understood in terms of economics, education, gender, ethnicity, health, access to resources, the environment, economic and socio-political rights, etc.

Possible topics include:

  • concept and practices of inequality and its relief (concepts of inequality; strategies of support such as poor relief or charity; poverty alleviation; international development; philanthropy)
  • political and institutional causes, consequences and trends of inequality (colonialism; national and global institutions; the role of states; policies; aid; systems of redistribution; diasporas)
  • inequality and globalisation (industrialisation and de-industrialisation; trade; technology and innovation)
  • political, social and economic rights (civil rights; first and second generation rights; social and civil rights movement, activism)
  • inequality of opportunities (non-monetary inequalities; perception of inequality; education)
  • labour (pay-gap; minimum wage; workers’ rights; migration)
  • gender, sexuality and age (women’s rights; LGBTQQ; family policies; old age and childhood)
  • ethnicity (racial discrimination; race activism)
  • health and well-being, particularly related to environment issues (environmental disasters; rights to access to resources; food protection)
  • inequalities and its measurement (concepts and technologies; statistics; GDP; vital minimum)
  • the economy (deregulation of markets; privatisation; taxation; economic development as an idea and policy).

Keynote speakers: Francisco Bethencourt (King’s College London); Isabel Hofmeyr (Wits University); L. H. M. Ling (New School, New York); Dilip Menon (Wits University); Wayne Modest (Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden); and Andrea Muehlebach (University of Toronto).

The registration fee is £100 (£40 for students), payable by 15 February 2017, which will include refreshments and lunches. The late registration fee (after 15 February 2017) is £130 (£60 for students). One-day attendance is £70 (£80 for late registration) and for students £25 (£35 after 15 February 2017). Please note that the registration fee does not include dinner or accommodation. A registration form will be made available to participants in late 2016.

Participants are expected to organise and cover the cost of their own travel. A small number of bursaries will be made available to graduate students.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Amy Evans, GHCC Secretary,

Giorgio Riello, GHCC Director,

Among the members of the Warwick Global History and Culture Centre are: David Anderson, Maxine Berg, Gurminder Bhambra, Dan Branch, Robert Fletcher, Anne Gerritsen, Bishnu Gupta, Julia McClure, Giorgio Riello, Aditya Sarkar, Claudia Stein, and Charles Walton.

The conference is supported by the History Department, University of Warwick; and the Connecting Cultures and the International Development Global Research Priorities at Warwick