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Department of Political Science

Politics of Socio-structural and Spatial Inequality in Knowledge Societies

The first edition of the UZH TOPIQ – Zurich Talks on the Politics of Inequality took place from September to November 2021. The first round of talks focused on the Politics of Socio-structural and Spatial Inequality in Knowledge Societies. View the full program. All talks for the fall semester 2021 took place online via Zoom. Recordings are available via the links below.

Talk Synopses

September 20
Jane Gingrich | University of Oxford, UZH
Keynote Lecture: Do Contemporary Inequalities Undermine the Coalitions That Would Solve Them?
Many major economies are struggling to develop stable high-productivity equity-producing policies. Why are policies with the potential to enhance equity and efficiency not adopted? Focusing on demographic shifts and aging, investment in education and skills, and regional policy, in this keynote lecture Jane will look at how cleavages in education, age, occupation and geography are reshaping the possibilities of long-run reforms that are politically sustainable.  

October 4
Thomas Kurer | University of Konstanz, UZH
An Intergenerational Perspective on Perceptions of Economic Opportunity and Electoral Change
Postindustrial occupational change has ended an era of unprecedented upward mobility. In this talk, Thomas will discuss a project that studies the political implications of this immense structural shift and reveals that political dissatisfaction is widespread among voters who fall short of intergenerational status expectations.

October 18
Diane Bolet | King's College
Is the Green New Deal a Vote-Winner? Evidence From Spanish National Election Results
How do 'left-behind' coalmining communities who experience the closure of coalmines as part of the 'Green New Deal' (GND) scheme vote? In the case of Spain, such communities reward the incumbent who passed a GND-style policy consisting of social welfare assistance six months before the 2019 April election, showing that state-driven climate action with a progressive socio-economic agenda can provide remedies to spatial economic inequalities and be a winning electoral strategy for left-wing parties.

November 2
Nadja Wehl | University of Konstanz
The Dynamics of Unemployment, Risk, and Political Predispositions
Labour market inequalities are known to be related to individuals’ policy preferences, but their impact on political predispositions is rarely analysed. Nadja will present research on whether labour market inequalities mostly reflect relicts from socio-economic inequalities from childhood to early adulthood, or are the result of permanent reactions to economic risk and shocks, as well as whether pre-existing predispositions condition the effects of economic shocks.