More POLAR research presentations coming up during the winter term 2021

Markus Gangl will give presentations of POLAR research on the relationship between rising income inequality and changes in social trust on two further occasions, namely in the Seminar Series of the University of Oslo’s Research Unit Social Inequalities and Population Dynamics and in the Seminar Series of the Frankfurt Section of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion. The talk “in” Oslo was given on Tuesday, October 26, noon, over zoom, and the talk in Frankfurt will presumably be given in a hybrid format allowing for online as well as some limited physical attendance, but had to be rescheduled from November 15 to some later date. In case you are interested in attending the Frankfurt talk, please watch out for a new seminar announcement and then contact the organizers about opportunities to attend.

Both talks will be based on the paper “A New Old Macroeconomics of Social Cohesion: Rising Prosperity Still Trumps Rising Inequality, at Least for Many”, which will be shortly available as a POLAR working paper from this website – so watch out for further news.

In January 2022, Markus Gangl will furthermore revisit POLAR research on the relationship between rising income inequality and political polarization. Specifically, he will ask whether the negative effect of inequality on political trust is driven by material self-interest or by citizens’ political preferences. The talk “Rising inequality as a political problem: Is the negative effect of inequality on democratic trust a matter of self-interest or citizens’ political preferences?” will be part of the DIGCLASS Seminar Series on January 25, 2022, 3pm. In case you are interested in attending this zoom talk, please see the seminar announcement on the EC Science Hub website for further details as well as the link to the public Webex session.

Conference season is keeping team POLAR busy

The team will be present at the General Conference of the Academy for Sociology and at the ESCR Annual conference. The programs can be found if you click on the link. Markus Gangl will also provide a keynote at the AS conference.

In addition, Svenja Hense presented a paper on the policy preferences of classes at this year’s DVPW congress and the APSA meeting.

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!

Upcoming Talk at the 15th ESA Conference 2021

On September 3rd, Carlotta Giustozzi will give a presentation with the title “Beyond financial strain: Explaining the relationship of unemployment and civic participation through values and social identity” at the 15th ESA virtual Conference, Barcelona. She will present findings from her dissertation project on the effects of unemployment on civic participation in Germany with SOEP panel data focusing on social identity and individual values as explanatory mechanisms.

Successful PhD defense

On July 13, Carlotta Giustozzi very successfully defended her PhD thesis. The thesis looks at the social consequences of cumulated labor market marginalisation and was supervised by Markus Gangl and Patrick Sachweh. Huge congratulations, Carlotta, from everyone else at Team POLAR!

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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