Inequality and Social Policy
Our society today faces numerous challenges. Longer-term trends such as the digital transformation are overshadowed by shorter-term crises such as Covid-19, but they are by no means replaced. The diversity of problems meets a strongly pronounced social diversity. On the one hand, the latter is characterized by complex economic interests and heterogeneous social identities. On the other hand, new technologies have created a previously unknown diversity of media. Together, these forces create highly segmented media markets and - in extreme cases - so-called "echo chambers" that drive social polarization and put the ability of Western democracies to act to a serious test. Each additional crisis thus holds the potential to further deepen societal divides.
Against this background, our research cluster considers distributional issues as a cross-cutting matter that must always be "thought about." The task of social policy is not only to alleviate the greatest need or to push for normative notions of justice that are acceptable to the majority. It is also to help create the social cohesion that is necessary to meet the challenges of our time.
In this sense, researchers in our cluster are working on the following topics, among others:
- Digital transformation
- Climate crisis
- Covid-19 crisis
- Political polarization
- Gender and family policy as "permanent challenges".
We are looking forward to a collaboration of and with researchers from different disciplines in order to shed light on our thematic complex as comprehensively as possible.
Speaker: Patrick Mellacher