1st Edition

Inequality Studies from the Global South

Edited By David Francis, Imraan Valodia, Edward Webster Copyright 2020
    296 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    296 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to thinking about inequality, and to understanding how inequality is produced and reproduced in the global South.

    Without the safety net of the various Northern welfare states, inequality in the global South is not merely a socio-economic problem, but an existential threat to the social contract that underpins the democratic state and society itself. Only a response that is firmly grounded in the context of the global South can hope to address this problem. This collection brings together scholars from across the globe, with a particular focus on the global South, to address broad thematic areas such as the conceptual and methodological challenges of measuring inequality; the political economy of inequality in the global South; inequality in work, households and the labour market; and inequalities in land, spaces and cities. The book concludes by suggesting alternatives for addressing inequality in the global South and around the world.

    The pioneering ideas and theories put forward by this volume make it essential reading for students and researchers of global inequality across the fields of sociology, economics, law, politics, global studies and development studies.


    David Francis, Imraan Valodia and Edward Webster

    Part 1: Introductions and Conceptual Questions on Inequality in the South

    1. Towards a Southern Approach to Inequality: Inequality Studies in South Africa and the Global South

    Edward Webster, Imraan Valodia and David Francis

    2. Is Hierarchy the Same as Inequality?

    Dilip Menon

    3. Inequality Under Globalization: State of Knowledge and Implications for Economics

    James K. Galbraith and Jaehee Choi

    Part 2: The Political Economy of Inequality in the Global South

    4. A Survey of Trends in Macroeconomic Policy and Development in the Global South: From World War II to the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond

    Vishnu Padayachee

    5. Economic Power and Regulation: The Political Economy of Metals, Machinery and Equipment Industries in South Africa

    Sumayya Goga, Pamela Mondliwa and Simon Roberts

    6. Inegalitarian Growth: India and Brazil Compared

    Alexandre de Freitas Barbosa, Maria Cristina Cacciamali and Gerry Rodgers

    Part 3: Work, Households and the Labour Market

    7. The Crisis of Social Reproduction in Petty Commodity Production and Large-scale Mining: A Southern Perspective on Gender Inequality

    Hibist Kassa

    8. Vocational Education and Inequalities in Transitions from Education to Work in Three African Countries

    Stephanie Allais

    Part 4: Land, Space and Cities

    9. Investigating Infrastructures of Urban Inequality

    Margot Rubin, Melanie Samson, Sian Butcher, Avril Joffe, Stefania Merlo, Laila Smith and Alex Wafer

    10. Social Reproduction at End Moments: Land, Class Formation and Rural Economies in Ghana and South Africa

    Akua Britwam and Ben Scully

    Part 5: Alternatives

    11. Minimum Wages: Tackling Labour Market Inequality

    Patrick Belser, David Francis, Kim Jurgensen and Imraan Valodia

    12. Building Counter Power in the Workplace: South Africa’s Inequality Paradox

    Edward Webster

    13. Global Inequality and Human Rights

    Radhika Balakrishnan

    14. Conclusion

    David Francis, Edward Webster and Imraan Valodia


    David Francis is Deputy Director of the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Imraan Valodia is Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management and Director of the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Edward Webster is Distinguished Research Professor at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    "This book not only brings Southern perspectives on inequality by highlighting the approaches and experiences of both the geographical South and the South as a metaphor for the victims of exclusion of oppression (the ‘subaltern’) around the world, it also points to the need to shift the centre of gravity of inequality studies to the global South, where inequalities of income and power are often far more pronounced than in the global North. The book, by posing the issue of the inequalities within the global epistemological order that tends to mirror the unequal and unjust global order, shows the need to reframe the narratives about inequality as well as the need for a comprehensive structural transformation agenda. The Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, based in South Africa where millions of people are still grappling with the devastating effects of Apartheid, by producing this must read on inequality is clearly off to a great start." -- Ebrima Sall, Executive Director of TrustAfrica and former Executive Secretary of CODESRIA   

    "This is a major contribution to social science discourse on inequality that seriously shifts the focus from money-matric, income-centric engagement to historically understood, interconnected, structural dimensions, centering on power. It is likely to influence not only thinking on inequality in global south but also in academies and policy circles of the global north." -- Manoranjan Mohanty, Retired Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi

    "An important collection of essays that add up to a fresh and innovative perspective on inequality from the global South. It broadens and advances the field of inequality studies through an interdisciplinary approach and it draws our focus beyond measurement of economic inequality, which so far has dominated the literature. The different chapters examine inequality across the global South from multiple perspectives, including gender, race and class and offer exciting theoretical and methodological innovations for the study of inequality. This book is an essential tool for researchers and students in both the global North and South who are concerned about growing levels of inequality across the globe." -- Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development, Departments of International Development and Gender Studies, London School of Economics