Panel Discussions - Monday, January 18, 2010
Correcting Inequalities, “You Always Have Losers and Gainers”
This statement was made by Dr. Frances Stewart of Oxford University during an IPI policy forum on inequalities and conflict held last week that also featured discussants Ambassador Peter Maurer of Switzerland and Dr. Susan L. Woodward of CUNY.
Dr. Stewart was responding to a question about the Northern Ireland peace process, which succeeded in restoring near equality to the Catholic-Protestant relationship. “When you correct inequalities," she said, "you always have losers as well as gainers. You can’t really avoid it. Of course, if you can do so in a growing economy, so people are losing relatively but not absolutely, that’s better. But you do have losers.”
In speaking about horizontal inequalities—the subject of the panel discussion and of her 2008 book—Dr. Stewart said, “Analysts say that people can’t live together; that it’s the clash of civilizations, and there’s nothing much we can do about it. And then a whole lot of economists say it’s nothing to do with culture at all, nothing to do with ethnicity; it’s to do with individual people wanting to make money out of war. Greed, it’s called.
“I think what the horizontal-inequalities approach does is to bring these two together. It says, yes, it is about culture, but it’s also about economics. If groups have fundamentally unequal relationships—in politics, in economics, in culture, in the way their culture is treated in the society and the way their religions are treated in society, in social assets, in all these different aspects—then the people who are deprived have a very big motive to challenge the government. And the people in government, if they’re a different group, have a big motive to suppress the others and retain their privilege. And that’s fundamentally why horizontal inequalities, as distinct from vertical inequality, tends to lead to conflict."
The policy forum, held on January 18, 2010, was chaired by Dr. Edward C. Luck, IPI Senior Vice President for Research and Programs.
The Global Observatory
Does World War I Echo in East Asia’s Growing Tensions?
Lessons of pre-WWI alliances, nationalism, and crises can help East Asia defuse its tensions today.
Key Global Events to Watch in October
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
October 27, 2014
Peacekeeping and the OSCE
In response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) deployed a Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of some 250 civilian international observers.
October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.
October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt