"The Politics of Inequality": Overview

Who We Are

"The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies" - that is what we call our Cluster of Excellence within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments. This cluster of excellence is a joint project of researchers from political science, sociology, economics, linguistics, psychology and education studies.

Research on inequality has been carried out in a well-established field in the social sciences, but existing research has neglected the political causes and consequences of inequality.
Marius R. Busemeyer, Speaker of the Cluster

What We Aim to Find Out

Our research can be divided into three research areas, resulting in one central question each to guide our research:

1. Perceptions
Why do people perceive some distributions of resources as unfair, and not others – and how does this perception influence their political preferences?

2. Participation
Under what conditions do public demands manifest in terms of political action and participation at the individual, group and collective levels?

3. Policies
To what extent do policy-makers respond to different forms of political demands, and how do these political and policy responses in turn affect perceptions, preferences and political participation as well as structural inequality?

What Is Important to Us

Next to our research interests, we have also committed to a number of goals that are very important to us:

1. Early Career Support

At our cluster, we support doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in individual and group projects. We enable them to adopt indepent roles early in their research, and facilitate solid scientific skill development through research-oriented training.

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2. Equal Opportunities and Diversity

We are convinced that a diverse and open work environment are as important for our research as for our general culture of cooperative community. Work-life balance and diversity are thus central concepts. 

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3. Knowledge Transfer and Communication

Our cluster investigates questions of fundamental relevance for our whole society. We do so at a university that is one of the strongest communicators in all of Germany. Vibrant, far-reaching, informative and accessible communication ought to be a given.

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