The Tentacles of Circumstance: The Political Consequences of Inequality

Populists across Europe appeal to voters by tapping into a wellspring of anxiety and resentment, much of which is the consequence of voters’ experience of multiple forms of inequality. Many people feel caught in the ‘tentacles of circumstance’ described by the father of US President Lyndon B. Johnson, but they no longer feel that government is helping them wrestle free. To explore the complex effects of inequality on both groups and individuals in European societies, this volume brings together essays by scholars of economic history, sociology, psychology and philosophy. This variety of lenses allows an exploration of both the origins of inequality and the different forms that it takes, which is essential to understanding the uses and abuses of the concept in political debate.

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