Why are we running this project?
Wealth inequality and elites are interrelated. Wealth is built and passed on across generations. It also comes with privileges (such as an increased political influence) and is reflected in people's standard of living and their access to opportunities.
Furthermore, wealth allows households to adapt to and cope with unexpected events, such as the ongoing pandemic. Yet in many countries of the global South, a majority of households does not have this buffer. Additionally, these households lack the political privileges and advantages that would increase their chances to build wealth.
In order to truly understand wealth inequality, it is necessary to analyze, how elite groups maintain their position and at which societal costs. Therefore, by focusing on wealth and elites, the SCIS aims to reveal the underlying causes of inequality rooted in power relations.
What are our goals?
With this research program, the SCIS pursues two goals:
The first goal is to broaden the understanding of wealth inequality in the distinct social and economic structures of the global South. The research emphasizes the central role of wealth inequality in overall inequality, and the economic, social and political drivers that underpin it. It hopes to build interest and promote future research on the mechanisms behind it.
Secondly, the SCIS wants the research to inform policy makers, civil society, and citizens in the global South about the importance of wealth inequality and to provide a rich information base on which to develop policies.
More broadly, the SCIS hopes to contribute to the public discourse in the global South on the creation of wealth and the structural forces which maintain it.