Contesting Economic Inequality
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: DO NOT USE
Course Number: LPOL 3007
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
This course analyzes the politics of inequality, in particular its socioeconomic dimension, in comparative interdisciplinary perspective. It addresses several fundamental questions: What is the significance of inequality? What are its causes and consequences? Why do disparities of power, wealth and status, and the relationship between these sources of stratification, vary across countries, regions and eras? What explains the varying relative tolerance of inequality in different societies? Finally, why have states and societies responded to its phenomenal rise in recent years, and how successfully? In the first part of the course, we examine competing intellectual approaches of inequality. Part two surveys the rise, origins and variety of social welfare regimes in the advanced industrialized west and across the global South from the 1940s to the 1980s. In part three, we examine the causes, patterns and consequences of rising socioeconomic inequality in an era of neoliberalism across the world. Finally, part four analyses a range of contemporary political responses to these trends from state and society, ranging from Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados in Spain and the landless workers movement in Brazil to popular Maoist insurgency in India, local environmental protests in China and socio-legal activism in South Africa.
Open to Undergraduate students.