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We are witnessing increasing divisions in society whereby health gains for some are not shared by others; where social mobility is falling; and where the pay gap between ordinary workers and corporate leaders has grown exponentially. Inequality is now a mainstream political issue. What does current research bring to our understanding of how inequality shapes our economy and society? What do the public think about inequality? Can research provide evidence of interventions to reduce inequalities?

Inequality is one of the research themes identified by the Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative (SRI). The group included Professor Theresa Marteau, Professor Simon Szreter, Professor David Howarth, Professor Simon Deakin and Dr Charlotte Sausman who began discussing the question of public attitudes to inequality, and how attitudes changed across different types of inequality. Several of the group had already attended the Rustat Conference on Inequality, held in Cambridge in March 2015 , and were keen to build on the discussions held there. Through the YouGov Cambridge programme, we engaged YouGov to carry out some polling on current attitudes to inequalities.

Image courtesy of Shreyans Bhansali from Flickr Creative Commons

Understanding Inequalities: new thinking for public policy Cambridge University

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We are witnessing increasing divisions in society whereby health gains for some are not shared by others; where social mobility is falling; and where the pay gap between ordinary workers and corporate leaders has grown exponentially. Inequality is now a mainstream political issue. What does current research bring to our understanding of how inequality shapes our economy and society? What do the public think about inequality? Can research provide evidence of interventions to reduce inequalities?

Inequality is one of the research themes identified by the Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative (SRI). The group included Professor Theresa Marteau, Professor Simon Szreter, Professor David Howarth, Professor Simon Deakin and Dr Charlotte Sausman who began discussing the question of public attitudes to inequality, and how attitudes changed across different types of inequality. Several of the group had already attended the Rustat Conference on Inequality, held in Cambridge in March 2015 , and were keen to build on the discussions held there. Through the YouGov Cambridge programme, we engaged YouGov to carry out some polling on current attitudes to inequalities.

Image courtesy of Shreyans Bhansali from Flickr Creative Commons

    Corporate governance, shareholder value and worker rights Simon Deakin, Centre for Business Research

    Corporate governance, shareholder value and worker rights Simon Deakin, Centre for Business Research

    Simon Deakin is a Professor of Law. He specializes in labour law, private law, company law and EU law. His research is concerned, more generally, with the relationship between law and the social sciences, and he contributes regularly to the fields of law and economics, law and development, and empirical legal studies. He is Director of the Centre for Business Research (http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/), co-Chair of the Public Policy SRI and a Fellow of Peterhouse. His books include Tort Law (7th. ed. with Basil Markesinis and Angus Johnston, 2012), Labour Law (6th. ed. 2012, with Gillian S. Morris), The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution (2005, with Frank Wilkinson), and Hedge Fund Activism in Japan: The Limits of Shareholder Primacy (2012, with John Buchanan and Dominic Chai). He is editor in chief of the Industrial Law Journal and a member of the editorial board of the Cambridge Journal of Economics.

    • 18 Min.
    ‘Inequality, what’s new?’ - Sir Vince Cable

    ‘Inequality, what’s new?’ - Sir Vince Cable

    The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable is the former Coalition Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade (2010-2015). He was Member of Parliament for Twickenham 1997-2015; deputy leader of the Lib Dems 2007-2010 and shadow chancellor 2003-2010. As MP Dr Cable was chair of the All Party Police Group and All Party Group on Victims of Crime and a member of the Treasury Select committee.
    From 1983 to 1990, Vince worked as special advisor on Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Sonny Ramphal. In 1990 he joined Shell International taking up the post of Chief Economist in 1995. He has also been head of the economics programme at Chatham House and is a former fellow of Nuffield College Oxford and the LSE.

    • 41 Min.
    A sociological and historical perspective on health inequalities: implications for current policy debates Mike Kelly, Institute of Public Health and Simon Szreter, Faculty of History

    A sociological and historical perspective on health inequalities: implications for current policy debates Mike Kelly, Institute of Public Health and Simon Szreter, Faculty of History

    Professor Kelly is Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge and a member of St John’s College, Cambridge. Between 2005 and 2014 he was the Director of the Centre for Public Health at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) where he led the teams producing public health guidelines. Professor Kelly’s research interests include the methods and philosophy of evidence based medicine, prevention of CVD, health inequalities, health related behaviour change, the causes of non-communicable disease, end of life care, dental public health and the sociology of chronic illness.

    Professor Simon Szreter is a Fellow of St John's College and Professor of History and Public Policy at the Faculty of History. Professor Szreter is an historian of population, public health and reproduction. His most recent books have all presented historical studies with diverse contemporary public policy implications: Registration and Recognition. Documenting the Person in World History (2012), The Big Society Debate. A New Agenda for Social Welfare? (2011), History, Historians and Development Policy (2011) and Sex Before the Sexual Revolution (2010). Simon Szreter is a Steering Committee member of the Public Policy SRI.

    • 18 Min.
    Colonial-modern legacies of development and public policy - Sarah Radcliffe, Department of Geography

    Colonial-modern legacies of development and public policy - Sarah Radcliffe, Department of Geography

    Sarah Radcliffe is Professor of Latin American Geography and Fellow of Christ's College. Professor Radcliffe has been working on issues around intersectional inequalities and exclusion from the benefits of development interventions and government programmes in South America for a number of years. Her talk today focuses on the colonial-modern legacies of development and public policy and the ways that these are being re-worked and challenged under Ecuador's Buen Vivir agenda of 'equality within diversity'.

    • 19 Min.
    A focus on children in care - Lucy Delap, Faculty of History

    A focus on children in care - Lucy Delap, Faculty of History

    • 20 Min.
    New polling on public attitudes to inequality - Laurence Janta-Lipinski, Associate Director, YouGov

    New polling on public attitudes to inequality - Laurence Janta-Lipinski, Associate Director, YouGov

    We are witnessing increasing divisions in society whereby health gains for some are not shared by others; where social mobility is falling; and where the pay gap between ordinary workers and corporate leaders has grown exponentially. Inequality is now a mainstream political issue. What does current research bring to our understanding of how inequality shapes our economy and society? What do the public think about inequality? Can research provide evidence of interventions to reduce inequalities?

    • 7 Min.

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