A 2011 OECD study showed a significant rise in economic inequality in a large number of countries around the world in recent decades. There are numerous debates, both in academia and in the world of politics, about the causes of inequality, but very few attempts to systematically discuss adequate policy responses. This book aims to close this gap. It charts the development of economic inequality; gives reasons for its rise; assesses the economic, political and social effects of increasing inequality; and discusses what can be done politically to contain the rise in inequality.
Some chapters 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. Others 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, the book contains five 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.
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