On Friday night I helped launch the Centre for Applied Social Research (@CeASR_Leeds) Global Inequalities Research Programme when I debated inequality with Hilary Benn MP.
If you are interested the notes from my talk are here. A video of the event is coming soon.
The basic argument was that inequality has risen in the UK, its high by international standards, we know why and politicians need to face up to it. To reduce it requires strengthening the power of the working class politically and industrially, and, more complicatedly, negotiating coordinated international adjustments between surplus and deficit countries and between developed and developing countries. A big challenge and one that requires political imagination and not populist focus group politics.
Led by Dr Andrew Lawson and Dr Alex Nunn, the Global Inequalities programme will see colleagues look at many different dimensions of inequality in many different contexts. Dr Sophia Price and Dr Mark Langan will be looking at trade and inequality in Africa, Dr Jamie Morgan and Dr Caroline Herbert will be looking at poverty and inequality in urban settings in India. Dr Andrew Lawson and Dr Zoe Thompson will be looking at inequality in the United States, its representation in literature and contemporary political protest. Dr Quentin Bradley will be looking at urban inequality, planning and housing policy in the UK. Dr Rachel Julian will be looking at inequality, violence and the integrated role of peacebuilding and development in post-conflict developing countries. Dr Paul Wetherly will continue his investigation into state theory with a particular emphasis on the role of the state in mediating and reproducing poverty and inequality. In a related project Oriel Kenny will focus on access to water in rural settings and mechanisms to reduce resource inequality. Dr Robin Redhead will be looking at the role of human rights in securing greater equality as well as continuing her work on the rights of indigenous peoples. Along with Prof Colin Webster, my main focus will be on inequalities and the future of the Welfare State in Europe.
Keep an eye on https://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/research/centre-for-applied-social-research-ceasr.htm and http://leedspage.wordpress.com/ for more news from this exciting new initiative.