Running from September 2017 to February 2023, Unequal Democracies was a multi-pronged research program financed by the European Research Council (Advanced Grant no. 741538), directed by Jonas Pontusson and administratively supported by the University of Geneva.  Additional funding of research activities encompassed by Unequal Democracies was provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation through separate grants for projects directed by Jonas Pontusson (grant no. 100017_166238) and by Nathalie Giger (grant no. 100017_178980).

Designed to allow PhD students and post-docs to develop independent research projects, the research program was loosely structured around two broad themes and two more specific themes, in each case seeking to address temporal dynamics as well as variation across West European democracies.

Broad themes:

1.  Citizens’ perceptions of income inequality and their preferences for policies with redistributive implications.

2.  Biases in policy responsiveness to different categories of citizens and the reasons for such biases.

More specific themes:

3.  The role of trade unions in shaping perceptions, policy preferences and the political influence of different categories of citizens.

4.  Differences between the policy preferences of immigrants and “natives” and government responsiveness to the preferences of immigrant-origin citizens.

The rest of this website provides information about the members of the research team (including their whereabouts as of June 2024), documents the activities that were carried out over the period of the ERC grant, and lists the outputs of the research program under four headings: data, PhD theses, working papers, and publications.



International advisory board

Administrative contact information