Workshop: "Inequality in Autocracies"

Wednesday, 04. December 2019
– Thursday, 05. December 2019

University of Konstanz, Room Y213

Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality"

The study of inequality has traditionally focused on “Western”, democratic countries. In this workshop, we bring together scholars studying different aspects of inequality in non-democratic countries. By definition, these systems are characterized by high levels of inequality in political participation: typically, only a small elite actually participates in political decision-making.

While this should lead us to expect that policy outcomes should be similarly unequal and benefit the ruling class only, this is not always the case. Some autocratic governments have managed to keep socio-economic inequality low, sometimes below the levels we would expect in democracies (Knutsen and Rasmussen 2018). This is because inequality can sometimes have dangerous consequences for autocratic governments, for example by triggering mass unrest and rebellion. Other autocratic states, however, are characterized by high levels of inequality. In those states, governments are often able to prevent protests and stabilize their position of power using a number of diversionary or outright repressive strategies. The papers at this workshop study different forms of inequality in autocracies and their consequences.

This Cluster Workshop is organized by Janina Beiser-McGrath, Eda Keremoglu, and Nils B. Weidmann