Institutions for Equality, Inclusiveness and Social Mobility

Coordinator: prof. dr. ir. Tanja van der Lippe

This theme focuses on equal opportunities for people in our society. How  do we achieve a broad distribution of political and economic resources, while avoiding inequality and related tensions, and ensuring equal educational, wage-earning, cultural and jurisdictional opportunities? To what extent does the organisation of the labour market - facing demographic transitions - allow for social mobility and cohesion? The relevant institutions to a large extent determine the agency of people at the individual level and the inclusiveness of societies at the macro level.

Another relevant aspect is intra- and intergenerational mobility, including equal chances for new generations without too much burden from non-sustainable behaviour of earlier generations. Here collaboration with the strategic theme “Dynamics of Youth” will be sought.

More specific questions include:

  • What are the trends and variations in intra- and intergenerational social mobility between societies, and what driving forces can explain these?
  • How do funding and organisational arrangements affect the accessibility of education, knowledge and culture?
  • How did, and does, the organization of the labour market affect social mobility, equality and social cohesion?
  • How do inheritance and marriage rules and norms affect gender and generational equity?
  • What is the effect of social inequality on conflicts of norms and the shaping of rules, and how does this affect economic growth and ecological sustainability?
  • What are the patterns of inequality in the world and how can our knowledge of formal and informal rules of exchange and allocation help with understanding global divergencies?