Geographies of Inequality

Spatial inequality has become one of the defining issues of our time. The uneven geography of incomes and welfare is seen as a waste of potential, a challenge for policy, and an important factor driving the rise of populism in many countries. The geography of inequality and welfare was a core interest of economic geographers in the 1970s, but abated in the subsequent period. There has been a resurgence of interest in the subject in the period following the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the COVID pandemic, with its aftermath, is likely to reinforce this interest. These shocks are also likely to accelerate long-term processes of technological change which are seen as hollowing out middle-classes, polarising labour markets, and making it harder for cities and regions to achieve job creation. In response, policymakers have recently focused on notions such as Inclusive Growth. We are interested in perspectives from both global north and global south which engage in these issues. What is the geography of inequality? What is causing shifts in these patterns? What are their consequences? And how should policy respond?

This theme welcomes submissions on topics including: