NEWS

Upcoming POLAR presentations at the 2021 AS online conference “Cohesive Societies?”

This year’s conference of the German Academy of Sociology (AS) will be held online on the theme of “Cohesive Societies?” between September 29 and October 1, 2021. Given its highly topical umbrella theme, we are very happy to have two contributions from the POLAR project at the conference.

On September 29, Markus Gangl will give a keynote lecture based on the working paper “A New Old Macroeconomics of Social Cohesion: Rising Prosperity Still Trumps Rising Inequality, at Least for Many”, and on October 1, Simon Bienstman, Svenja Hense, and Markus Gangl will contribute a paper presentation of their working paper “Explaining the democratic malaise: testing perceived responsiveness as a mechanism for the inequality-trust link“.

More information about the conference can be found here. The conference program features a distinguished set of keynote speakers, including Richard Wilkinson, Delia Baldassarri, Fabian Pfeffer and Michael Zürn, among others. And best of all: thanks to generous funding, registration for the conference is free of charge! So spread the word & see you “in” Leipzig then!

Presentation at the Sciences Po OSC Scientific Seminar

On June 18, Markus Gangl gave a presentation at the OSC Scientific Seminar at the Sciences Po’s Observatoire Sociologique de Changement in Paris. Under the heading “A New Old Macroeconomics of Social Cohesion: Rising Prosperity Still Trumps Rising Inequality, at Least for Many”, Markus Gangl presented new findings from the POLAR project to examine the relationships between rising inequality, increasing prosperity and social trust in 32 affluent countries.

More information about the program of the seminar series

Talk at the Cluster Colloquium

On May 18, Markus Gangl gave an online presentation at the colloquium of the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality”, based at the University of Konstanz. The talk dealt with the question “Is Rising Inequality a Threat to Democracy?” and summarized first findings from the POLAR project.

More information about the program of the cluster colloquium

POLAR working paper presented at the Workshop on Perceptions and Policy Preferences

„Explaining the democratic malaise: Testing perceived responsiveness as a mechanism of the inequality-trust link“ was presented at the Workshop on Perceptions and Policy Preferences in Hamburg on May 7th.

In this paper, Simon Bienstman, Svenja Hense and Markus Gangl ask whether perceptions of responsiveness explain why and how income inequality affects political trust.

They develop a theoretical model in which rising income inequality leads larger segments of citizens to feel that their interests are not taken into account by the political system, which in turn negatively affects their evaluation of the trustworthiness of its core institutions. 

Based on survey data from the American National Election Survey and the European Social Survey, the analyses show that income inequality indeed negatively affects responsiveness perceptions, as well as political trust.

When income inequality is high, people sense like their influence on political decisions dwindles and they more often express the view that governments do not care about what they think.  At the same time, the paper finds that people who perceive of the political system as responsive to their needs are more willing to trust in its core institutions.

A mediation analysis shows that inequality’s negative intermediate effect on perceptions of responsiveness to a large extent accounts for the relationship between income inequality and political trust.

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