Economic inequality has recently gained considerable academic attention. However, two important aspects of inequality have not been discussed systematically: its multidimensional nature and the question of what can be done to reverse it. This book offers insights from scholars representing the Global Labour University, which operates in Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa and the US. They analyse the various drivers of inequality, assess policy responses, and discuss counterstrategies.
The main findings of this book are that rising levels of inequality cannot be addressed only with the standard policies responses, namely education, redistribution and 'green growth'. In addition, the way markets currently function needs to be corrected. The chapters in this volume focus on specific fields of contemporary capitalism where important drivers of inequality are located, for example, the labour market; the financial system; the tax system; multi-national corporations; and gender relations. Other chapters discuss in detail where political opportunities for change lie. They critically assess existing countermeasures; the idea of a 'green economy' and its implications for inequality; and existing campaigns by trade unions and new social movements against inequality. In line with the global nature of the problem, this book contains case studies on countries both from the north and south with considerable economic and political weight.
This book provides academics, political practitioners and civil society activists with a range of ideas on how to drive back inequality. It will be of interest to those who study political economy, development economy and labour economics.
Alexander Gallas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Kassel, Germany.
Hansjörg Herr is Professor for Supranational Integration at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany.
Frank Hoffer is a Senior Researcher at the Bureau for Workers' Activities at the ILO and the international coordinator of the Global Labour University, Germany.
Christoph Scherrer is Professor for Political Science and Director of the International Centre for Development and Decent Work, University of Kassel, Germany.
1. Introduction Alexander Gallas Part I: The Challenge of Inequality 2. The Rise of Inequality Across the Globe: Drivers, Impacts and Policies for Change Tandiwe Gross, Frank Hoffer and Pierre Laliberté 3. Gender Inequality and the Labour Movement Akua O. Britwum 4. Trade Unions and the Challenge of Economic Inequality: An Unresolved Debate Edward Webster and Christopher Morris Part II: Drivers of Inequality 5. Labour and Financial Markets as Drivers of Inequality Hansjörg Herr and Bea Maria Ruoff 6. The Impact of the Financial Sector on Inequality: A Comparison of the US, Brazil, Germany and India Trevor Evans 7. Multinational Corporations and Economic Inequality in the Global South: Causes, Consequences and Countermeasures in the Bangladeshi and Honduran Apparel Sector Mark Anner and Jakir Hossain Part III: Country Case Studies 8. The US Economy: From Crisis to Stagnation Thomas I. Palley 9. Financialisation, Redistribution and 'Export-led Mercantilism': The Case of Germany Eckhard Hein and Daniel Detzer 10. Macroeconomic Processes and Economic Inequality in India Jayati Ghosh 11. Brazil in the Last Twenty Years: Searching for a New Accumulation Regime Marcelo Manzano, Carlos Salas and Anselmo Santos Part IV: Critiques of Conventional Political Responses 12. 'Greening' Inequality? The Limits of the Green Growth Agenda Birgit Mahnkopf 13. The Social Investment State and the Myth of Meritocracy Heike Solga 14. New Trends in Inequality: The Financialisation of Social Policies Lena Lavinas Part V: Merits and Limits of Alternative Political Responses 15. Market Regulation, Inequality and Economic Development Hansjörg Herr 16. The Role of the Public Sector in Combating Inequality Christoph Hermann 17. Progressive Tax Reform in the OECD Countries: Opportunities and Obstacles Sarah Godar, Christoph Paetz and Achim Truger Part VI: Tools for Counterstrategies 18. Contexualising Strategies for More Equality Christoph Scherrer 19. (Un)Typical Labour Struggles: Creative Campaigns to Challenge Inequality Michelle Williams 20. Countermeasures Against Inequality Christoph Scherrer and Timm Schützhofer