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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

Horizontal Inequality Intro

"Remove the secondary causes that have produced the great convulsions of the world and you will almost always find the principle of inequality at the bottom. Either the poor have attempted to plunder the rich, or the rich to enslave the poor. If, then, a society can ever be founded in which everyman shall have something to keep and little to take from others, much will have been done for peace" (de Tocqueville 1835, quote from 1954 edition,: 266).

Inequality between culturally formed groups is a very important but often neglected dimension of development. A group’s relative performance in economic, social and political dimensions is an important source of individual welfare and could lead to serious political instability, and can be the source of violent conflict.  This HDCA thematic group aims to provide a network for those who would like to advance research on horizontal inequality and emphasize this serious dimension of development while looking at it from a variety of social sciences angles including sociology, economics, and political science.

Topics include:  determinants of horizontal inequality, conflict, the relationship between vertical and horizontal Inequality, the measurement of horizontal inequality, policies relating to group inequality,   among others.

The Horizontal Inequality group was started by Frances Stewart and Zina Nimeh during the HDCA 2010 conference that was held in Amman. Frances Stewart and Zina Nimeh are advisers to the coordinators.



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