UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Wealth Inequality and Ethnic Conflict: the rise of the Extreme Right among German Bohemians

08 March 2023, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

A mass demonstration in the Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 29 December 1918

A CNET seminar with Dr Filip Novokmet (Bonn). This will be an online event.

This event is free.

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In this seminar, Dr Novokmet will discuss the relationship between wealth inequality and ethnic conflict — as the most recurrent expression of identity conflict — in the Sudetenland during the first decades of the 20th century. Using a set of comprehensive measures of wealth inequality at the county level based on data of the wealth census of the whole population after WW1 that accompanied the one-off wealth tax, the paper finds that high wealth inequality was associated with increased vote shares for German nationalists. The context of the results is the two-issue political competition where class and ethnic cleavages crosscut, under the hypothesis that the rich elites supported nationalists to fend off socialist demands. Those findings may help understand the rise of the far-right and the increased salience of ethnic identity in countries with rising economic inequality.

About the speaker

Filip Novokmet is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics, University of Bonn. His research focuses on Economics of Inequality, Political Economy and Economic History.

Image credit: A mass demonstration in the Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 29 December 1918, Wikimedia