Illustration by Abhilasha Dewan

The last three decades have seen the emergence of Gilded Age levels of inequality. The 2008 financial crisis, the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movements all sparked renewed focus on this widening of income inequality, amid fears that the ‘one percent’ could eventually hold more wealth than 99 percent of the population combined.

The inaugural 2015 UBC Lind Initiative, hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues, examines the far-reaching effects of inequality – not only when it comes to income and wealth, but gender, race, marriage, globalization, and the environment. The Initiative includes a speaker series and an upper-level university seminar featuring economists Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, journalists Andrew Sullivan and Jill Abramson, author Teju Cole, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

In partnership with the Lind Initiative, is turning its attention to matters of inequality with articles, essays, analyses and interviews with key experts, writers and scholars who explore the issue in its myriad forms. Through contributions from economist Dambisa Moyo, Aboriginal journalist Angela Sterritt, Harvard visiting professor Miles Corak, and Nick Malkoutzis of Athens’ Kathimerini English, among others, readers can gain a better understanding of a crisis at the forefront of today’s politics in Canada and around the world.

The Politics of Inequality series is a partnership between OpenCanada and the Lind Initiative at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia.

In the series


A Movement Rises

How did inequality within indigenous communities — the most serious, current consequence being the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women — creep from out of mind to front of news coverage? It involved much determination, passion, and love.  Journalist Angela Sterritt brings to life six stories from a movement finally resonating in Canada. 

Greece youth

Bailout byproduct: A less equal Greek society

The agreement of a third bailout takes the edge off the financial crisis, but widens the gap in Greece between those at the bottom and those who have the means to weather the storm.   

Inequality winter

Inequality: a fact, an interpretation, and a policy recommendation

Tackling inequality and poverty aren’t mutually exclusive; rather, efforts devoted to fighting the former contribute to solving the latter. 


Elizabeth May on climate inequality

The Green Party leader has been working on the climate change agenda since 1986, but she’s still hopeful.


A discussion with Jeffrey Sachs

The American economist gave a presentation at the University of British Columbia as part of the Liu Institute for Global Issues’ Lind Initiative.


Jill Abramson on gender inequality

In this candid interview, Abramson sits down with the CBC's Anna Maria Tremonti as part of the Lind Initiative with UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues.

Chile's gay pride parade

What the world can learn from Latin America’s gay rights movement

The region has a ways to go for same-sex equality but specific cases show how coalitions, institutions and the strategic framing of demands can help create policy change.


Video Killed a Star Charity: The downfall of Invisible Children

Was one high-profile advocacy video the undoing of Invisible Children, or was it the final straw for an NGO whose work was built on misplaced intentions? Andrew Green visits northern Uganda to find out.


Chris Hedges on inequality in the United States

 Journalist, author & activist Chris Hedges spoke at the Munk School of Global Affairs on October 20.


The forgotten corners of environmental inequality

As air pollution, lead poisoning and other environmental impacts affect the marginalized more acutely, hopes of sustainability and equality begin to sprout in gardens around the globe.


A marriage to celebrate: that of gender equality and economic development

In Bangladesh, home to the world’s worst record on child marriage, women’s rights are slowly making gains.


What Canada's election campaign has missed: The inequality debate

With real problems plaguing lower income Canadians, why has this election campaign focused so much on the middle class?


Q&A: Economic growth — magic or model?

An interview with economist Dambisa Moyo on the state of inequality and the solutions in our midst.


What’s left out of the ‘gender in the workplace’ debate: the race factor

Advice for women of colour to ‘lean in’ falls flat when being strong and black is still viewed as a threat.


The Great Divide – Joseph Stiglitz on inequality

The Nobel Laureate discusses the causes and consequences of inequality and what we can do about it.


A Conversation with Joseph Stiglitz and Dean Robert Helsley

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses the issue of inequality with the head of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

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