Welcome to the website of Unequal Democracies! 

Unequal Democracies is a five-year research program directed by Jonas Pontusson and funded by the European Research Council (Advanced Grant 741538). 

Rising inequality represents a pervasive trend across liberal democracies over the last two decades.  Particularly striking is the fact that rich households’ shares of income and wealth have risen sharply in most of these countries.  The Unequal Democracies program explores how rising income and wealth inequality affects democratic politics.  Our core premise is that two distinct streams of recent research must be brought together in order to address this overarching question.  One of these research streams focuses on how inequality affects the policy preferences of different citizens; the other research stream addresses the effects of inequality on the responsiveness of parties and governments to the policy preferences of different citizens.

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International advisory board

Administrative contact information 



Unequal Democracies Seminar :
Spring 2019

April 4 2019 : 14.15-16.00, room M3393
"Elites attitudes to redistribution in Brazil and South Africa ”
Graziella Moraes Silvia (IHEID)

April 11 2019 : 14.15-16.00, room M3393
"Explaining radical right party success without shifts in public opinion: The role of issue salience”
Anne-Sophie Kurella (Universität Mannheim)