Category archives for Inequality

Domestic fortification and the home of neoliberalism

Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy

Homeownership and the increasing fortification of the domestic home are linked by our increasingly neoliberal society. Home goes to the heart of the economy. We know that homeownership has been integral to a series of national political projects, on both the political right and left, for decades.  The growth of homeownership has occurred in tandem with the slow death of … Continue reading

19 October 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The UK is sinking deeper into property inequality – here’s why

Tom Goodfellow

In the UK and in developing countries enormous wealth is generated from property. New approaches and action is needed to value and tax property wealth Outrage has been mounting over the untaxed incomes of the global elite, foreign ownership of urban land and soaring rents in the private rental sector.  Much of this boils down to two key matters: who owns property, and how they are … Continue reading

23 September 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

The hollowness of GDP: The case of Ireland

Ireland’s GDP statistics highlight the disconnect between ‘official’ growth and the real economy, and raise questions about the nature of growth itself In the last decade, the prominence afforded to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in political discourse has increasingly been challenged by a series of social and environmental critiques. These critiques – made by the likes of Wilkinson and Pickett, … Continue reading

22 September 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , | 1 comment

‘Eating power’ and the oligopolisation of the Haitian food economy

As one of the world’s poorest countries, the inequities in Haiti’s local food economy are deeply rooted in its troubled history and its elite-dominated political economy ‘Nothing prepares you for Haiti’. At the closing plenary of the recent Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Conference, the first time the conference has been held there since the CSA’s inception in 1975, Trinidadian activist … Continue reading

15 September 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mainstream economics and the crisis of imagination: Part I

Jamie Morgan

In times of crisis the predictions of mainstream economics persistently fail; alternative approaches to economics are required The theme of crisis continually recurs in the SPERI political economy blog. This is a reminder of two things. First, ‘crises’ seem to be everywhere.  The language of the extraordinary has become ordinary.  Second, social reality is a process.  The present is a … Continue reading

6 September 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: we do not have much time

Professor Andrew Gamble

The political economy problems we face are complex and loom large; new solutions are needed and time is of the essence As the previous blogs in this series demonstrate, the political economy problems facing us are complex, intractable, and in many cases deepening. Recovery from the 2008 crash has been slow and uneven, and as Tony Payne points out, all … Continue reading

13 July 2016 by
Categories: Debt, Inequality, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , | 1 comment

Rethinking Recovery: Poverty chains and global capitalism

Reorienting value generated within ‘global poverty chains’ is essential to improve the lives of an impoverished world labour force Contemporary global capitalism is characterised by extreme wealth concentration and a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished global labour force. Mainstream institutions such as the World Bank and International Labour Organisation encourage integration into global value chains as a development strategy that, … Continue reading

12 July 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s not about tax evasion or avoidance, it’s about inequality

Focusing on politicians’ tax affairs misses the real point: the Panama Papers expose deep structural inequalities and their consequences The recent political stramash over the Mossack Fonseca revelations has involved endless media interviews, commentaries and expert pronouncements about whether David Cameron’s family had engaged in and benefited from sensible tax efficient investment strategies or from dubious tax evasion. This is … Continue reading

19 April 2016 by
Categories: Europe and the EU, Finance, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Social exclusion and labour rights in the banlieues of Paris: Part II

Heather Connolly

Trade union support for undocumented migrant workers is taking place in an atmosphere of growing stigmatisation and social tension Last month I returned to the banlieues of Paris on a research visit hosted by CRESPPA-CSU, four months after the November attacks, and during the week of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22nd March.  Whilst in Paris issues of social … Continue reading

14 April 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The making of the modern ‘Debt State’

What we know (and don’t know) about ownership of public debt In a previous contribution to SPERI Comment, I presented some of my research on the domestic ownership structure of the US federal debt. The findings showed that since the early 1980s, and especially since the onset of the global financial crisis, federal bonds have become heavily concentrated in the … Continue reading

10 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

Property taxes, public services and wealth

Tom Goodfellow

Placing property taxation, redistribution and social justice in an ethical context Two weeks ago I was in Addis Ababa at a conference on taxation and development. Unexciting as this might sound to many, questions of tax strike at the heart of social justice.  Why else do many in Britain and elsewhere get so enraged about the existence of tax havens … Continue reading

24 February 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inequality knows no compass points

The North/South divide is not the problem. Economic centralism is Neil and Matthew’s blog is also a chapter in a new e-book ‘The Politics of the North: Governance, Territory and Identity in Northern England’, co-edited by SPERI’s deputy director Craig Berry and SPERI researcher Arianna Giovannini. Find out more and download the e-book here. For decades, the North/South divide has … Continue reading

11 February 2016 by
Categories: Devolution, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A letter from Lesvos

Dimitris Ballas

The inspiring humanity of many ordinary European citizens in the face of the refugee crisis contrasts shockingly with the limited actions of European governments I am writing this post at the beginning of 2016 in my office at the University of the Aegean, part of which is situated on the island of Lesvos, near to Turkey. I’ve been working at … Continue reading

6 January 2016 by
Categories: Europe and the EU, Global crisis, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Old’ leftism, made new?

Stephanie Mudge

An important part of the ‘Millennial’ appeal of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US lies in the economic insecurity of younger generations In my last SPERI Comment, I highlighted some of the new realities of the neo-gilded age: huge economic and wealth inequality, long-term wage stagnation and the mounting problem of student loan debt.  I … Continue reading

8 December 2015 by
Categories: Debt, Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to a Trade Union Bill in the United Kingdom

Jason Heyes

The new majority Conservative government seems to be seeking to complete some of its unfinished business from the 1980s The Trade Union Bill, which is currently making its journey through the House of Lords, is the most controversial piece of industrial relations legislation introduced in the United Kingdom since the Conservative Party’s assault on trade unions in the 1980s and … Continue reading

2 December 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Post-election prospects in Canada

Jacqueline Best

The Liberals have a chance to rectify their past economic mistakes by rebuilding the middle class After a decade under a Conservative leadership that actively undermined the government’s capacity to conduct research, Canadians last month elected a government that has promised to base its policies on evidence. Yet, if the new Liberal government wants to pay attention to the evidence, … Continue reading

16 November 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The SDGs on hunger and malnutrition

Ben Richardson

These new goals offer some important changes from the MDG era and provide ‘food for thought’ in the UK So near, yet so far. One of the headline targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve the proportion of undernourished people in the world between 1990 and 2015 was almost met.  The distance travelled in this respect, represented by … Continue reading

6 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The flawed utopianism of the SDG process

Graham Harrison

Everything is premised on an unrealistic understanding of the structures and dynamics of the global political economy Thomas Pogge and Mitu Sengupta set the scene for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as ‘that cosmopolis of the future whose foundations are now being shaped’, offering more than a hint of utopian thinking. The foundations to which the authors refer are the … Continue reading

1 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Global crisis, Global South, Inequality, Political theory, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The 2030 agenda and the SDGs – a course correction?

Much will depend on the capacity and determination of civil society to leverage the necessary political will A rare sense of euphoria permeated the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York this weekend. The multitude of events that have been taking place on First Avenue and beyond had a party atmosphere. And it … Continue reading

30 September 2015 by
Categories: Development, Inequality, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of ‘good parenting’

‘Good parenting’ is grounded in a white middle-class ideal of what the family is and thus shifts responsibility for nurturing from society to individuals, mostly women Family breakdown and poor parenting have hit the headlines in Britain in recent years as the proclaimed reasons for a large range of societal problems, from youth rioting to youth unemployment to teenage pregnancy.  … Continue reading

8 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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