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Understanding Inequality In The Modern World:What Is Inequality Anyway?

Responding to the global financial crisis of 2007-8 and the austerity policies that followed, the Occupy movement focussed attention on social inequality with the slogan 'We are the 99%'. This implied a clash between the wealth and interests of a tiny elite and the experiences of the average member of society. But is this 99:1 split a useful or appropriate measure of inequality? And can we give a precise meaning to the notion of the 'average' person? This course explores a variety of ways in which social scientists have tried to answer these questions through numerical measures of the size and extent of inequality. As will be shown, these proposed answers are not solely neutral technicalities but have potential political and social implications.

04 June 2024 – 09 July 2024
Tuesday, 18:30 to 20:30
Course Code:434
£76 / £27
6 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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All The Questions About The Economy You Ever Wanted To Ask

Do free markets generate prosperity, and what could the alternatives be? What is money, and where does it come from? Why poverty, and how to fight it? Should we worry about government debt? How much inflation, if any, sustains economic growth? How are interest rates set? What causes wealth inequality, and how detrimental is it to society? What are the competing economic theories that inform governments around the world today? And we'll discuss more issues, as you come up with them. Oh, let's not ignore this one: How much can economies grow on a finite planet?

26 September 2023 – 12 December 2023
Tuesday, 18:30 to 20:30
Course Code:430
£152 / £53
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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Understanding The Modern World: The Rise Of China

China has changed in scarcely three decades from a poor and overwhelmingly agricultural country to what may already be the largest industrial economy in the world, with the geopolitical significance that that entails. To Western observers this is liable to seem like a sudden rise from backwardness and obscurity. But China's citizens have a different perspective: that their country is on the brink of recovering a status that it held for millenia - that of the world's most technically and culturally sophisticated society, only eclipsed for a few brief centuries following Europe's industrial revolution. But how should these events be explained? To do this we will look at the variety of ways in which economists have accounted for the transition from agriculture to industry, and thus for the fact that China has achieved what countries in Africa and South America have found so much more difficult.

20 February 2024 – 26 March 2024
Tuesday, 18:30 to 20:30
Course Code:432
£76 / £27
6 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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