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International Conference on Inequality and Sustainability
09.11.2012 - 10.11.2012 
The Fletcher School, Tufts University



Debates over equity – the fair distribution of resources, costs, and benefits – and a closely related topic, economic inequality, have arisen in the wake of the recent financial crisis. The gap in wealth and income between those who came out well after the crisis and those who did poorly has been widely noted. However, in a longer view this can be seen as part of a much broader debate in which conflicting normative goals raise troubling questions, complicated by uncertainties over how societies and economies do and should work.

If we are to build a prosperous society, does inequality do more to help or hinder the pursuit of that goal? As we simultaneously seek an equitable and just society, then what level of inequality is consistent with an equitable outcome?

The pursuit of a sustainable society raises further questions. Sustainability implies a normative goal of inter-generational equity, and some have argued that lessened inequality and increased equity may be preconditions for a successful transition onto a sustainable path. This conference, part of a major international SEI project, we will look at equity and inequality through the lens of sustainability and, conversely, at sustainability from the point of view of equity and inequality.

The conference aims to bring together sustainability, equity, and inequality researchers to learn from one another about the current state of the art in their respective fields, and to think creatively about the intersections of these fields and the application of these important concepts to development policy debates.

Download the agenda (PDF, 898kb)

Learn more about the conference

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