Home » Research » Inequality, Welfare and Social Justice

Inequality, Welfare and Social Justice

  shutterstock_654727162 sao paulo licensed cropped 2 mp

How have inequalities of class and fortune, gender, race, religion, age or region shifted in Europe since the turn of the twentieth century? How have those shifts reshaped social, political and cultural spheres since the twentieth century? This cross-disciplinary group takes as its point of departure a sobering fact: after a long period during which economic inequalities progressively – if unevenly – narrowed, and poverty levels fell, most European countries have experienced rising economic inequality since 1980. This has had negative effects on social cohesion, equal opportunity and democratic stability.

Our group uses historical and contemporary analysis to explore today’s crisis of inequality, and to unpack the evolving relationships among inequality, social welfare, democracy and social justice. In late nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe the question of who would provide social services to whom and on what terms was a subject of sharp and complex political and ideological contest. The links that were consciously forged between social welfare and democracy in the mid-twentieth century were the outcome of political struggles and choices made in the shadow of World War II. However, as the rise of right-wing and populist welfarism in Hungary, France, Italy, Poland and elsewhere demonstrates, the connections between welfare and politics can be, and are being re-thought, with dramatic consequences for the rights of individuals.



MACHADO Weverthon
Weverthon Machado (MWF SPS)

Roberta Biasillo 

Rona Dinur

Aruni Mitra 

MOISE Alexandru
Alexandru Moise 

Matteo Capasso


Conor Casey 


Donato Di Carlo 


POPIC Tamara
Tamara Popic
QUERIN Federica
Federica Querin







Cluster activities 2021

5 March 2021
2-6.30 pm - via Zoom

SOCIOBORD kick-off meeting 
Professor Laura Lee Downs (HEC) officially launch her ERC project "Social Politics in European Borderlands, 1870s-1990s: A comparative and transnational study" (SOCIOBORD)

1 February 2021
3-4.30 pm - via Zoom

Stepping-Stone solidarity
Speakers: Anton Hemerijk (EUI-SPS), Azizjon Bagadirov (EUI-SPS), Pablo Puertas Roig (EUI-SPS)

Cluster activities 2020

16 November 2020
3-4:15 pm - via Zoom

Thomas Piketty on Capital and Ideology. An EUI-interdisciplinary review essay
Speakers: Laura Downs (EUI-HEC), Jakob Frizell (EUI-SPS), Anton Hemerijck (EUI-SPS), Marta Lopes (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), Fabian Mushovel (LSE) and Ludwig Pelzl (EUI-HEC)

2 November 2020
3-4:30 pm, via Zoom

19 October 2020
3-4:15 pm
Hybrid event (Sala del Capitolo and Zoom)

The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth
Speaker: Aruni Mitra (Max Weber Fellow, EUI-ECO)

5 October 2020
3-5 pm
Hybrid event (Sala degli Stemmi and Zoom)

25 June 2020
11-13 am - via Zoom

Reading group on Thomas Piketty's book "Capital and Ideology" - Part III, chapters 12  and 13 and Part IV

11 June 2020
2-4 pm - via Zoom

Reading group on Thomas Piketty's book "Capital and Ideology" - Part III, chapters 10 and 11

21 May 2020
10:30 - 12:30 am
via Zoom

Reading group on Thomas Piketty's book "Capital and Ideology" - Parts I and II

Quick Links

Page last updated on 22 February 2021