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Inequality and Democracy: A response to the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) Report 2018

Simon Reid-Henry

Review of Social Economy, 2020, vol. 78, issue 2, 185-202

Abstract: In this response I reflect on the contributions of the recently published report of the International Panel on Social Progress. I focus in particular on the Report’s treatment of the relationship between inequality and democracy: the proper subject of Chapter 14 in Part II of the report but also a central concern throughout the text. I begin by setting the Report's arguments more fully in the historical context of the past few decades, and specifically the post-1970s era. I then interrogate in more detail the relationship between liberalism and democracy before examining each of three key themes raised by the report: the domestic challenges posed by economic inequality to political pluralism; the relationship between the state and globalisation; and the extent to which current institutional arrangements of liberal democratic systems articulate and safeguard the basic values and moral principles of democracy. I conclude by looking forward.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2019.1710242

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