DSA2018: Global inequalities
University of Manchester, 27-29th June
Events and meetings
Wednesday 27th June
Chaired by Uma Kothari. (Sponsored by Journal of Development Studies).
a. Conference overview
b. DSA@40 on how well DSA/development studies has dealt with inequality over the years? -
Changing perspectives on inequality - Frances Stewart (University of Oxford)
c. Global inequality trends today - Jan Nederveen Pieterse (UC Santa Barbara)
d. Q&A/responses from the floor
Changing perspectives on inequality - Frances Stewart
This presentation will review ways in which perspectives on inequality and development have changed over the last half century, with emphasis on changing views concerning inequality of what; inequality among whom; and the interconnections between inequality and development. Finally, the talk will focus on two major current challenge -- first, that focus continues to be largely on distribution among individuals, to the neglect of functional distribution and horizontal inequalities; and secondly, partly as a consequence, while the norm of what is widely advocated as desirable (less inequality) has moved in one direction, policy (largely) is doing little about this and even moving in the opposite direction.
Inequality and institutions - Jan Nederveen Pieterse
What forms of action can best combat global inequalities? The norm is quality growth (shared growth, inclusive development), the practice is often uneven growth. Why? A common feature of low quality growth and high social inequality is weak institutions that enable political and elite capture. Why are institutions weak? Since the reasons differ by region and history we must adopt a multicentric approach. While governance gaps are a common feature the way they come about, remain or grow differs. Are there parallels between patterns of inequality and the variety of institutional arrangements? Institutions, a key frontier in contemporary development, are the key variable in inequality.
17:45-19:00 Development and Change Annual Lecture (Keynote 1): The spectrum of inequality in the era of neo-liberal globalisation: diversities of fundamentals, or a multiplicity of political settlements and market failures?
José Gabriel Palma (University of Cambridge and USACH)
Sponsored by Development and Change this lecture will be recorded and made available on the journal’s website.
I will first examine the five main stylised facts of the current broad spectrum of inequality, and then propose two new ways of looking at inequality that are closely related to what Alex Cobham and Andy Sumner have called the “Palma ratio”. I will also discuss how neo-liberal globalisation triggered a new process of “reverse catching-up” among OECD countries, so that it is now the highly-unequal middle-income countries (such as those in Latin America) that tend to show the advanced ones the shape of things to come. (“Welcome to the Third World!”). We are all indeed converging in this neo-liberal era, but towards features that so far have characterised countries with huge inequalities, such as mobile élites creaming off the rewards of economic growth, and ‘magic realist’ politics that lack self-respect if not originality. Finally, I will discuss why the neo-classical theory of factor shares that underpins influential accounts of inequality today (e.g. Piketty) not only does not ‘fit the facts’, but also relies on a methodology and social ontology that assumes that particularly complex and over-determined processes are just the simple sum of their parts. In this way, the account of inequality can be reduced to the description of individual constituents, and of the algebraic representation of the supposed simple causality interconnecting them, thus ignoring the complex interactions between politics and market failures that define contemporary patterns of inequality. I conclude that in order to understand current distributive dynamics, what really matters is to comprehend the forces determining the share of the rich — and, in terms of growth, what they choose to do with it.
2015 saw the launch of an annual dissertation prize. The DSA dissertation annual prize of £500 is to be awarded to the best Masters level dissertation in development studies or development economics. At DSA2018 we congratulate the two joint winners of the 2018 prize: Bushra Rehman (IDD, University of Birmingham) and Henrique Lopes Valenca (GDI, University of Manchester), for their work "The intersection of gender and disability in exacerbating poverty in displacement settings: Jordan as a case study" and "Industrial policy and structural change in Brazil after the Washington Consensus (2003 – 2014)" respectively.
After the ceremony, delegates are invited for drinks and canapés to celebrate the first day of the 2018 event!
Thursday 28th June
12:40-13:00: Student social lunch
This is an opportunity to meet other development studies students, so grab your lunch from the food distribution points and then come along to meet others, before the publication strategies meeting in the room next door.
13:00-14:00: Publication strategies briefing for students and early career researchers (ECR)
Senior members of the DSA and representatives of publishers will hold a session discussing effective strategies for publication. This is aimed particularly at more junior colleagues.
The DSA and Oxford University Press (OUP) would like to dedicate this tea break to celebrating the launching of further books of the DSA book series. Titles to follow.
16:00-17:15: Oxford Development Studies Annual Lecture (Keynote 2): The politics of preserving gender inequality
Anne Marie Goetz (Professor at the Center for Global Affairs, New York University); to also mark the centenary of female suffrage in the UK
Sponsored by Oxford Development Studies.
Income inequality has been widening exponentially since the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity policies adopted in response. While conventionally perceived in terms of deepening class and racial divides, there is a gendered dimension to the increased material insecurity of the poorest people everywhere, and to the patterns of social polarization and the threats to liberal democracy that emerge in response. A feature of the latter are male-dominated extremist groups asserting an almost atavistic patriarchy and that target women’s (real and imagined) freedoms for attack. This talk will explore signs of slowdown and reversal in the pace of change towards gender equality (while acknowledging areas of progress), and then examine how misogyny has featured in the recent turn to illiberal politics in many industrialized and developing states. There are connections between the backlash against women’s rights and increasingly militarized societies and nationalist politics; misogyny is a convenient and effective mobilizing tool and is a core feature of the alternative states proposed by right wing and religious extremists of all kinds. In intergovernmental institutions, unconventional alliances are being formed between countries hostile to women’s liberties that are collaborating to dismantle aspects of women’s rights (particularly sexual and reproductive rights). Feminist collective resistance has taken a variety of forms, including the surprising effectiveness of the #MeToo movement. This talk will weigh up prospects for righting the gender equality project in light of long-term changes in levels of women’s political participation (on the increase), labor force participation (stalled), the endurance of discriminatory gender norms (very sticky) and changes in men’s uptake of unpaid care work (grudging, slow).
17:15-18:15: Early Career Researcher Plenary Panel
Sponsored by the Development Studies Association.
Details to follow.
18:30-19:15: DSA Study Group meetings
20:00-22:00: Conference dinner
Details of the conference dinner will be posted soon.
Friday 29th June
All members of the association are invited, indeed encouraged, to attend the annual general meeting of the association.
- Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (New School, NYU; focus on the SDGs and tackling inequality)
- Lidy Nacpil (Coordinator of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development as well as co-founder of Fight Inequality Alliance; focus on social movements, climate inequality)
- Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network)
Sponsored by the Global Development Institute.