In_equality Conference 2022

A look back at the international and interdisciplinary In_equality Conference (06 to 08 April 2022) - make sure to Save the Date for In_equality Conference 2024: 10-12 April


Concerns about growing inequalities play a fundamental role in current debates on technological change, globalization and in particular the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. When and how are inequalities perceived as a problem, and what can governments do to alleviate them? How do perceptions of inequality influence patterns of political participation? To what extent are structural inequalities shaped by policies?

Our research center “The Politics of Inequality” aims to tackle these and similar questions concerning the political dimension of inequality. In an international and interdisciplinary conference taking place in Konstanz, Germany, in the spring of 2022, we welcomed close to 200 in-person and 100 online researchers and guests to discuss these topics. Scholars with a background in political science, sociology, economics, linguistics, education research, psychology and law presented their investigations of the politics of inequality using different methodological approaches.

In 22 panel sessions, a poster session, three keynote lectures and a public lecture and panel discussion, we realized the In_equality Conference 2022 as a fully hybrid event, combining the advantages of in-person and online conferencing. Many of our contributors and participants let us know that, from their perspective, the In_equality Conference was a rousing success after a long period of abstention from scientific events of this caliber (due to the coronavirus pandemic).

Save the date now and do not miss the In_equality Conference 2024 on 10 to 12 April!



  • Conference with personal attendance (select formats will be livestreamed)
  • Talks in multiple moderated panels
  • Public Talk by Steffen Mau (Humboldt University Berlin)
  • Keynotes by Catherine de Vries (Bocconi University), Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard University) and Jason Stanley (Yale University)
  • Conference language: English


We welcome submissions and original research contributions on several fields of study, investigating questions such as (but not limited to) the following:

Perceptions. Analysis of stances, perceptions and preferences:

  • How are different dimensions of structural inequalities related to subjective perceptions and evaluations of inequality? To what extent do they influence preferences regarding policy responses to inequality?
  • How do welfare and socio-economic institutions influence the relationship between the macro level of policy making and the micro level of individuals’ attitudes and preferences?
  • Are subjective perceptions of inequality in line with factual inequalities – and if not, what are the factors that influence skewed perceptions?
  • What is the role of language and politically motivated framing in the perception of inequalities, and of policies regarding them?

Participation. Analysis of political behavior and mobilization:

  • What are the context conditions that mobilize (or demobilize) those who are socio-economically left behind?
  • To what extent do political institutions and opportunity structures influence political reactions related to inequality?
  • What is the relation between inequality and changing patterns in political participation, such as the emergence populism, changing party politics and the rise of new social movements?
  • Does socio-economic inequality increase political inequality, and (how) can political mobilization contribute to a decrease in inequality?

Policies. Analysis of political decision-making and policy reactions:

  • What are the political reactions to increasing increasing (or decreasing) inequality?
  • Are policy-makers broadly responsive to public demands and concerns or do we observe inequality in responsiveness of policy-making to the benefit of privileged groups?
  • How do policies affect structural inequalities across a range of policy areas, from education to family, to the labor market, to health care policies?

Cross-cutting issues:

  • How is economic inequality perceived, framed and debated in political and public discourses, and what aspects are paramount when talking about wealth and income inequality?
  • In what ways does unequal access to education and information make itself felt in political mobilization and participation?
  • What influence does inequality in rights and privileges such as limited access to public office for certain groups have on policies, and how do policy-makers address these inequalities?


Our conference venue is the Bodenseeforum Konstanz. This modern conference center offers all the trappings necessary for a program with multiple parallel sessions, large keynote assemblies, a poster session needing a spacious presentation floor, and all the networking and small impromptu meet-and-greets that make an international, interdisciplinary conference such an inspiring experience.

The In_equality Conference can also be fully experienced online in the form of a Virtual Venue, recreating the conference venue on a fully navigable 3D online model allowing our online participants to virtually breathe conference air. The Virtual Venue integrates:

  • live streams of all talks
  • live discussion integrating both on-site and online audiences
  • direct networking and spontaneous chat and videocall breakout sessions for all online participants