The Worlds of Inequality
16th to 19th June 2015, London UK
Inequality remains a – if not the – concern that unites the contemporary discipline of International Studies. Its prominence has been both underlined and heightened by the extraordinary impact of Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, exploring afresh the relationship between capitalism, wealth and inequality across the world. The landscape of global security studies remains dominated by questions about inequalities of power and the uses to which those inequalities are put. Conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and many other parts of the world have thrown a spotlight on vast asymmetries in political power in national and global contexts. Responses (or their absence) to those conflicts have re-invigorated debates about the responsibilities of institutions and political actors deemed to hold power in the international context. Those conflicts, the renewed surge of racist politics in European elections, the daily documenting of violence against women across the world, the patterns of marginalisation, disenfranchisement and exploitation that attach to global migration, and a huge range of other issues focus our attention on the place of the ‘powerless’ in global society and the global economy. We remain preoccupied by what the emergence of ‘rising powers’ means for the contours of global inequalities of power, wealth and security in the future.