John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin
Organizers: Christian Lammert, Boris Vormann, Curd Knüpfer, and David Sirakov
During the eight years of the Obama presidency, the United States' economy appears to have recovered from the economic shock induced by the financial crisis of 2008. Job numbers have increased, while key indicators for economic growth continue to gradually rise. Yet at the same time, the U.S., along with most parts of the world, faces historically unprecedented levels of economic inequality.
While social movements such as Occupy Wall Street, on the left, and the Tea Party, on the right, still seemed able to influence political discourse based on perceived injustices and economic imbalance, these debates have lost traction. Meanwhile, the manifold problems caused by inequality persist along the fault lines of wealth, gender, and race.
In November 2016, after the presidential election cycle is officially over and the barrage of campaign rhetoric has abated, we aim to revisit the pressing question of inequality, which appears to lie at the heart of so many of the economic, socio-cultural, and political problems facing the U.S. and the world outside its borders. How has the Obama administration fared in addressing these problems? How have rampant inequalities shaped electoral campaigns and promises? How, if at all, will the next administration and the next Congress address the lingering problems caused by the unequal distribution of wealth, justice, rights, and various forms of capital?
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