UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Book launch: Political Cleavages & Social Inequalities

16 November 2021, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Book cover: Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities

Book Launch event organised by the UCL Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies. Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities: A Study of 50 Democracies, 1948-2020. Edited by Amory Gethin, Clara Martínez-Toledano, Thomas Piketty

This event is free.

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Book description:

Who votes for whom and why? Why has growing inequality in many parts of the world not led to renewed class-based conflicts, and seems instead to have come with the emergence of new divides over identity and integration? News analysts, scholars, and citizens interested in exploring those questions inevitably lack relevant data, in particular the kinds of data that establish historical and international context. Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities provides the missing empirical background, collecting and examining a treasure trove of information on the dynamics of polarization in modern democracies.

The chapters draw on a unique set of surveys conducted between 1948 and 2020 in fifty countries on five continents, analysing the links between voters’ political preferences and socioeconomic characteristics, such as income, education, wealth, occupation, religion, ethnicity, age, and gender. This analysis sheds new light on how political movements succeed in coalescing multiple interests and identities in contemporary democracies. It also helps us understand the conditions under which conflicts over inequality become politically salient, as well as the similarities and constraints of voters supporting ethnonationalist politicians like Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, Marine Le Pen, and Donald Trump.


Clara Martínez-Toledano, Co-editor, Imperial College London

Juliet Uraz, Contributor, London School of Economics

Tomasz Zawisza, Contributor, University College London

Yonatan Berman, Contributor, King's College London

Marco Ranaldi, Chair, University College London

Disclaimer: We have a limited number of in-person tickets available and the event will take place on UCL Bloomsbury campus. Should circumstances change, this event will be delivered fully online. Ticket holders will be notified in advance.