Regimes of Inequality: The Political Economy of Health and Wealth

Julia Lynch, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss the political dynamics underlying inequality’s remarkable resilience since 1980. To do so, she traces the largely unsuccessful attempts of west European governments during this period to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in health. In England, France, and Finland, three quite different countries that span the range of European political economies, governments stated their intention to reduce inequalities in health, yet in all three cases, they were largely unable or unwilling to put into place the policies that could achieve these goals. Lynch argues that when center-left politicians take up the issue of socioeconomic inequalities in health, they do so in response to perceived taboos against redistribution, public spending and market regulation in a neoliberal era. Reframing inequality as a matter of health is at best a partial solution, however, insofar as it reshapes the policy-making environment surrounding social inequality in ways that make it more difficult to reduce either socioeconomic inequality or health inequalities.

Moderator: Cathie Jo Martin, Professor of Political Science

4:00 pm on Thursday, February 6, 2020
5:30 pm on Thursday, February 6, 2020
Pardee School of Global Studies, 121 Bay State Road (1st floor)