The question of how to build cohesive societies is a key question of social science research. With a strong emphasis on empirical work, this course is designed at the crossroad of different disciplines to survey and discuss the distributional and institutional factors that shape social cohesion. COVID-19, identity politics and climate change have put new topics on the agenda and we will scrutinise the impact of these emerging priorities on public perception, as well as what can be done about it from a policy perspective. Our course is structured in three thematic blocks: First, we will introduce students to empirical research on why countries differ in the levels and distributions of inequalities such as wealth inequality or environmental inequality. Second, we will discuss how individuals – across and within countries – feel about these different inequalities. Third, we will discuss policy responses to those inequalities, with a special focus on the work of international institutions (EU, OECD, WB) and their implementation efforts in member states. The goals of the course are 1) to provide you with a toolbox for studying cross-country differences in inequalities, 2) to give you an overview of the extent and structure of different forms of inequalities across advanced economies and, 3) to understand how such inequalities are tackled from an international policy perspective.
This course is for 2nd year MIA, MPP and MDS students only.