Episode 4: Politicizing Inequality: The Power of Ideas

A contemporary challenge is inequality, which is reinforced when it’s taken for granted. But, it can be disrupted when marginalised people gain self-esteem; challenge hitherto unquestioned inequalities; and gain confidence in the possibility of social change. These ideas are illustrated with ethnographic research from Latin America, where income inequality has recently declined. By highlighting some ways in which ideas matter, Alice Evans’ paper on Politicising Inequality: The Power of Ideas, seeks to persuade political economists to go beyond ‘incentives’. She suggests that future efforts to tackle inequality might harness the power of ideas: tackling ‘norm perceptions’ (beliefs about what others think and do); publicising positive deviance; and strengthening social movements. In this BSC podcast, Katya Gonzalez-Willette, Events and Outreach Specialist at CID, interviews Alice Evans, Associate at the Building State Capability program at CID and Lecturer at Kings College London, who provides further insight on why ideas matter for curbing inequality and how social mobilisation can catalyse greater government commitment to socially inclusive economic growth.