Fighting Inequalities and Social Risks in the 21st Century

University Programme Course Overview
Professeur: Emanuele Ferragina

Session: Juin

Langue d'enseignement: anglais

Nombre d'heures de cours: 36

 Télécharger la présentation 2021 du cours "Fighting Inequalities and Social Risks in the 21st Century" (PDF, EN, 509 Ko). 

Objective of the Course

The objective of the course is to make students able to understand how inequalities and social risks are tackled differently across the globe. On the one hand, the course discusses the role of public policy in fighting inequalities across OECD, Latin American, Eastern European and East Asian countries. On the other, it clarifies how the massive political economy changes that took place since the end of the 1960s are conditioning the capacity of different countries to fight against inequality and insure citizens against social risks.


How do countries fight inequalities and social risks across the globe? Which are the main common/dissimilar trends we can identify studying international political economy and public policy? The course will provide a provisional answer to these two questions employing a mixture of frontal lecturing, student presentations and class discussion.

Organization of the Course

The course is divided into two parts. After illustrating why fighting inequalities in the 21st century matters in the introductory sessions, Part I of the course details how countries across the globe – in the Western World (North America, Western Europe, Australia & New Zealand), Latin America, Eastern Europe and East Asia – developed public policies strategies to fight inequalities and social risks. This part of the course will mix a general understanding of public policy (and welfare) regimes in these macro areas with the appraisal of some specific national case. Part II of the course highlights the main political economy shifts that are impacting inequalities and social risks, discussing the passage from Fordism to widespread liberalization processes, the renew of class and gender issues, the impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the relation between political economy and societal change. Student presentations and collective discussion will allow to further expand the objective of the lectures in approaching these five themes: (1) does greater equality makes societies stronger? (2) is there a paradox in the relationship between the welfare state intervention and redistribution? (3) Is free trade a fair game? (4) Do global elites use women’s labour and ideas to exploit the world? (5) is austerity a dangerous idea for our societies?

Professor Biography

Emanuele Ferragina is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Sciences Po. He grew up in Catanzaro, in the deep south of Italy. Prior to Sciences Po, he was a Departmental Lecturer at the University of Oxford, where he also received his PhD. His main research interest is the political economy of the welfare state. Besides academia, he has established (with a group of Italian researchers) the think tank Fonderia Oxford, which has the objective of raising public awareness about important societal issues, such as the rigidity of the Italian labour market, the lack of social cohesion in the Mezzogiorno, and the Italian brain drain. He also regularly writes for Il Fatto Quotidiano about equality, labour market issues, party politics, the welfare state, and the lower league football.

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