Political Economy & Development Workshop

Joint Workshops


Orfalea Center Interdisciplinary Research Hub on Political Economy & Development

Friday February 26, 2016 & Saturday February 27, 2016

University of California, Santa Barbara

VENUE: 'Flying A Studios' Room, University Center


Structural and Historical Roots of Economic Inequality: A Global Perspective

In recent decades, economic inequality within countries has risen more often than it has fallen.  Amongst both advanced and developing countries, the share of labor in national income has fallen in more countries than it has risen, while income and wage distributions have tended to become more unequal and stratified across educational and other social groupings. Access to natural resources, land, and a wide variety of social goods has often become differentiated.  Wealth distributions are skewing towards the top, driven increasingly by inheritance. This workshop is premised on the understanding that, more often than not, these trends are problematic.

Rising inequality is multifaceted in its causes, in the dimensions and cleavages across which it is experienced, and in its social implications. It follows that none of the disciplines, on their own, are likely to offer the evidentiary and theoretical breadth necessary to devise appropriate political and policy responses.  Nevertheless, each has taken on important pieces of the puzzle, and the results need to be better communicated and incorporated across disciplinary and methodological boundaries. Moreover, inequality trends vary across societies, as do many of the historical and structural factors that influence attempts to deal with them, even as trends reappear across societies.  Neither totalizing narratives, nor unlimited context-specificity will do. A comparative, global approach is therefore required as well. 

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars from across the disciplines and geographic foci to permit the necessary intellectual cross-fertilization.  We will engage two core questions, with the aim of setting an agenda for the multidisciplinary study of economic inequality:

1. Why do levels of economic inequality vary over time and across societies?  A wide variety of theories is sought, including those that have proven difficult to test, and it is hoped that the multidisciplinary conversation will shed light on how to test them.

2. What policy responses have been offered, and what political, cultural, and historical factors have influenced their efficacy?


Schedule

Thursday, 25 February

5:30 pm           Van departs Milo Hotel for UCSB

6:15 pm           [Conference-wide event] Reception and dinner to celebrate 10 years of the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, its founder, and funders. Corwin Pavilion, UCSB

9:30 pm           Van pickup for hotel return

Friday, 26 February

8:30 am           Van departs Milo Hotel for UCSB

9:00-9:30         Coffee – University Center

9:30-9:40         Welcome and housekeeping (Aashish Mehta, UC-Santa Barbara, Global Studies).

9:40-11:00       Keynote address and discussion: Inequality – A Global Overview (James K. Galbraith, UT Austin, Public Policy)

11:00-11:15     Coffee Break

11:15-12:00     Inequality: A Multicentric Approach (Jan Nederveen Pieterse, UCSB, Global Studies)

12:00-1:00pm  Lunch

1:00 -3:15        Session A: Financialization

Financial Citizenship in the Post Employment Age (Gary Dymski, Leeds University Business School);

The Financialization of Social Provision (Alice O’Connor, UCSB, History);

Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Central Coast Region of California: Who Wins and Who Loses from the Rents of Nature? (Casey Walsh, UCSB, Anthropology)

3:15 - 3:30       Coffee

3:30-5:45         Session B: Stratification

Evaluating Racial Inequality in ‘Colorblind’ France (Dena Montague, UCSB, Black Studies);

Racial and Economic Inequalities in Latin America (Emiko Saldivar, UCSB, Anthropology);

Political Mobilization to Combat Historical Inequality: Lessons from a Dalit-Adivasi Comparison. (Amit Ahuja, UCSB, Political Science)

6:00-9:00         [Conference-wide event]: Dinner and Plenary Session. Loma Paloma Center, UCSB

9:00 pm           Van pickup for hotel return

Saturday, 27 February

8:30 am           Van departs Milo Hotel for UCSB

9:00-11:15am  Session C: Labor

Two Cheers for Vertical Integration: Corporate Governance in a World of Global Supply Chains (Nelson Lichtenstein, UCSB, History);

Is Work Deglobalizing? Implications for Inequality and Economic Policy (Aashish Mehta*, UCSB, Global Studies; Liming Chen, UCSB, Economics; Bart Verspagen, Maastricht University; Jesus Felipe, Asian Development Bank);

Decent Work for Domestics: Fighting Inequality in the Home (Eileen Boris, UCSB, Feminist Studies)

11:15-11:30     Coffee

11:30-1:45       Session D: Structural Change and the State (over lunch).

The German Welfare State under Pressure:  Parties in Search of Policy Solutions to the Migrant Crisis (Andrea Haupt, Santa Barbara Community College, Global Studies);

Structural Roots of Changes in Polish Income Inequality: 1989-2012 (Aleksandra Malinowska, UT Austin);

Exploring Inequalities in Water Access, Basic Needs, and Health Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa (Frank Davenport, Maximilian Stiefel, Sari Blakely and Stuart Sweeney, UCSB, Geography)

1:45-2:15         Concluding discussion

6:00 pm           Dinner, drinks, music … (Location TBD)


Sessions and Abstracts

Opening Papers

Inequality – A Global Overview
James K. Galbraith (UT Austin, Public Policy)

This address summarizes a comprehensive revision and update of University of Texas Inequality Project’s work on the inequality of pay and incomes around the world, covering the years 1963 to 2008.  The new UTIP-UNIDO data set of industrial pay inequality has 4054 country-year observations over for 167 countries, while the updated and revised EHII data set of estimated gross household income inequality has 3871 observations over 149 countries.  These datasets will be compared to data from other sources, and used to describe levels and trends in inequality around the world. 

Inequality: A Multicentric Approach
Jan Nederveen Pieterse (UCSB, Global Studies)

In advanced economies globalization and technological change are blamed for rising inequality, while in emerging economies globalization and tech change are credited with lifting millions out of poverty. In the US and UK inequality has grown steeply over past decades while in Nordic European countries inequality has also increased but only marginally. The same variables yield widely different processes and outcomes of inequality. The disparities reflect different initial conditions and institutions so it follows a) goldilocks globalization changes place and b) it’s the institutions, stupid! In China, poverty is acceptable (it’s a developing country) but inequality is not (it undercuts the legitimacy of the party). In India, inequality is accepted but poverty is not (it is a blight on national pride). General trends (such as the decreasing profitability of assembly industry, the inflow of labor in non-tradable services) affect different conditions in different ways. Instead of a generalizing macro approach that focuses on global trends we need multicentric approaches that are attuned to diverse initial conditions, institutions and cultures of inequality. The paper discusses trends in social inequality in Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and developed countries. The paper closes with current policy debates.

Session A: Financialization

Financial Citizenship in the Post Employment Age
Gary Dymski (Leeds University Business School)

Theories of financial structure and functioning largely ignore employment, and theories of employment largely ignore financial structures.  But if the concept of financialization is to attain the specificity that critical scholars such as Brett Chistophers claim it lacks, the links have to be made.  This paper explores the direct and indirect links between the evolution of employment and of financial structures in the current period. A broader vision of financial exclusion will allow the detrivialization of this concept. Financial exclusion must be firmly attached to social exclusion, which includes employment exclusion. Further, the macroeconomic preconditions and public supports required to bring about significant improvements in social inclusion should be visibilized. This will permit the rediscovery of justice as a motivating force in investigations of financial exclusion, and a renewed effort to define “financial citizenship”.

The Financialization of Social Provision
Alice O’Connor (UCSB, History)

This paper looks at the financialization of social provision as a significant aspect of the neoliberal restructuring of public and private social provision in late twentieth/early twenty-first century welfare states and global development aid.  Drawing on primary research as well as secondary literature, the paper will use developments in low-income (or ‘social’) housing (including the rise and growing reliance on securitized bonds, public/private financial intermediaries, subprime lending, and tax credit financing in the face of diminishing public funding) and development aid (the rise of microfinance) as case studies in a broader shift that has more recently led to a number of efforts (at the state and federal level in the U.S., based on models from the U.K.) to legislate public subsidies for social impact bonds to finance projects in education, public health, and even in prison reform that would be marketed to Wall Street firms as ‘public’ investments with the promise of ‘private’ return.  It will also discuss how financialized social provision has contributed to rising inequality: by strengthening the hands of private market players and valuations in the distribution of social goods; by privileging profitability and return on investment over equity, fairness, and inclusiveness; and by defining the terms of social and economic citizenship around individual capacity and responsibility to accumulate and manage assets rather than protection from the vicissitudes of the market and the rights of labor.

Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Central Coast Region of California: Who Wins and Who Loses from the Rents of Nature?
Casey Walsh (UCSB, Anthropology)

This paper assesses how and why groundwater management in California is reproducing and accentuating political, economic and social inequality. California law never regulated groundwater extraction across the state until the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in November of 2014.  SGMA requires local agencies and County governments to create and carry out plans to put groundwater basins into equilibrium (balanced extraction and recharge) at 2015 levels by 2040.  While still in its initial phases, it appears that this new regulatory apparatus for water is working to promote the geographically selective investment by financial capital in land.  The regulated rents of nature will ensure accumulation for some fractions of capital at the expense of other fractions of capital as well as labor.  I discuss the SGMA regulatory process as it has moved forward in its initial stages in two highly stressed groundwater basins: Cuyama and Paso Robles, both in the Central Coast region of California.  In Cuyama, profound inequality in property ownership (among related factors) results in unequal participation in the groundwater management process; while a more diverse land tenure system (among related factors) in Paso Robles has generated a more democratic and equal participation by different groups. Ethnographic, participatory research in both field sites shows that groundwater regulation has not hurt investment in agricultural land, but rather stimulated it.

Session B: Stratification

Evaluating Racial Inequality in ‘Colorblind’ France
Dena Montague (UCSB, Black Studies)

The French government does not collect statistics on race, so formal measures of racial economic disparities do not exist.  I propose that the current practice of evaluating inequality through the lens of immigration and class does not sufficiently problematize historical relationships between blacks and the State, and renders any racial component of inequality invisible. The types of racial challenges blacks have historically faced inform their position vis-à-vis the nation, and are not fully accounted for within an immigration paradigm.

Racial and Economic Inequalities in Latin America
Emiko Saldivar (UCSB, Anthropology)

Race and ethnicity have been acknowledged as key social and political dimensions with their inclusion in the censuses in most countries of Latin American since the 2000s.  This inclusion has created new types of data collection, new paths of analysis, and new conceptual approaches.  One example of these new approaches is the collaborative study undertaken by our Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (Pigmentocracies, North Carolina Press, 2014).  The first systematic survey conducted across four countries of the region, this book relied on descriptive statistics to evidence the existence of ethnic and racial inequalities across the region, as well as the centrality of skin color in shaping social stratification.  In addition, other surveys such as LAPOP and the recent availability of census data in many countries have created a new source of data for students of race and ethnicity in Latin America, previously dominated by Anthropologists and Ethnographers. 

In this paper I engage with the challenges of these changes by posing three sets of questions.  First, how has the availability of statistics contributed to new paths of analysis of economic inequalities but might also have silenced others?  Second, how does the issue of skin color, raised by Pigmentocracies, contribute to the debate about racial inequalities in the region?  Finally, how have these new statistics altered the possibilities of action of social movements based on ethnicity and race, as well as their relationship to the growing community of social scientists?

Collective Action to Combat Historical Inequality: Lessons from Dalit mobilization in India
Amit Ahuja (UCSB, Political Science)

Collective action among the marginalized is often viewed as a means to address historical inequalities in stratified societies. Dalits, the former untouchables in India, have been mobilized by social movements and political parties, but Dalit welfare outcomes vary. Dalits are the world’s largest and most longstanding marginalized group.  This paper compares Dalit collective action in the electoral and social spheres across four large Indian states. It shows that when Dalits act collectively as a bloc, this has different consequences in the social sphere and the electoral sphere. In the social sphere, bloc behavior generates an interest group that can articulate demands, pressurize bureaucrats and politicians, and monitor the quality of goods and services provided by the state. This improves democratic accountability. In the electoral sphere, however, bloc voting behavior has two especially negative effects: (1) it transforms Dalits into weak political clients; and (2) it increases the probability welfare schemes will be disrupted or dismantled with electoral transfers of power. Together these decrease democratic accountability. By pointing to mixed results of collective action of the marginalized, this paper suggests that their electoral mobilization cannot always be considered as an instrument for addressing historical inequality. 

Constraints on Inclusive Growth in India: How can Women in Panchayats Help?
Bidyut Mohanty (Institute for Social Sciences, New-Delhi, Women’s Studies)

There are two main reasons for widening inequality between the (inland) tribal and the coastal region of Odisha. First: differences in growth patterns, led by subsistence agriculture and a non-responsive mining-based economy inland, and by diversified agriculture and services with limited manufacturing in the coastal region. Second: lack of participatory institutional functioning, especially at the grassroots level of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), where large numbers of women could play a catalytic role. Based on an original survey of 44 women and 18 men panchayat chiefs in the inland region, I argue that welfare laws and public health programs had the effect of alleviating some miseries to some extent because of the participation of women. I also find that the laws were unable to create a sustainable condition for long-term security in food, employment, health and education especially for the people of inland Odisha and for Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste and women of the State as a whole. Based on my study, I argue that a one-size-fits-all growth model for the entire State should be discarded and one suitable for local conditions should be adopted. In other words, the growth model should be conceived at two levels: one for the entire State, and two distinct models for two different regions.

Session C: Labor

Two Cheers for Vertical Integration: Corporate Governance in a World of Global Supply Chains
Nelson Lichtenstein (UCSB, History)

The demise of the vertically integrated corporation has paved the way for pay inequality and deunionization in many advanced economies. Although both Fordist managers and New Deal reformers championed the vertically integrated corporation during the middle decades of the 20th century, this essay   explains how the subsequent “fissuring” of the workplace has given capital, both domestic and international, an enormous legal, financial, and managerial advantage in the governance of the supply chains that are today sinews of global production, trade, and distribution. Retail dominated supply chains, in particular, combine two seemly contradictory phenomenon: a high level of integration between manufacturers and the brands that source their product from far flung vendors, combined with a legal regime which absolves those who command the various links in the supply chain of the kind of responsibility, moral, economic and legal, that attached to those in formal leadership of the vertically structured corporation which once seemed so central to the American polity.

Is Work Deglobalizing? Implications for Inequality and Economic Policy
Aashish Mehta* (UCSB, Global Studies); Liming Chen (UCSB, Economics); Bart Verspagen (Maastricht University); Jesus Felipe (Asian Development Bank)

We define and distinguish two different notions of globalized labor: jobs in tradable sectors; and demand for labor that derives from exports. Through meticulous data cleaning and a bounds analysis, we show that employment in tradable sectors of almost all national economies has fallen dramatically around the world over the past four decades. We anticipate a world in which 60-80% of employment is in non-tradable sectors. Competitiveness remains an issue in sectors of the economy that derive demand for labor from exports, and which are growing slowly in employment terms. Nevertheless, the rising share of employment in non-tradable services presents a growing opportunity to policy makers concerned with economic inequality.  This is because regulating labor conditions in these sectors should reduce inequality more and result in fewer job losses than would labor-cost increasing regulations in tradable sectors of the economy. 

Decent Work for Domestics: Fighting Inequality in the Home
Eileen Boris (UCSB, Feminist Studies)

This presentation considers the ways that affect and law have reinforced the low wages and stigmatized position of household labor, but how organized movements of domestic workers in the United States and abroad have fought back, claiming rights and recognition through local, national, and global labor standards. One source of inequality between women comes from the outsourcing of reproduction work to other women.  But household workers recognize the worth of their efforts for making the world work by enabling the housewife and her family to go out to work or to school, their labor power replenished.  I am interested in how the association of home labors with the unwaged obligations and love of wives, mothers, and daughters generates affective responses to commodified or paid housework that stick to the job and not only how the slotting of marginalized groups into this work has devalued their labor. Organizing workers and their advocates use affect, especially emotional appeals to the heart, to win state bills of rights and an ILO convention.  But can inclusion into standard employment reduce inequality with the attenuation of the employment relation itself, when more and more jobs resemble the independent contractor and the still mostly informal status of household work?

Session D: Structural Change and the State

The German Welfare State under Pressure:  Parties in Search of Policy Solutions to the Migrant Crisis
Andrea Haupt (Santa Barbara Community College, Global Studies)

Structural economic changes, i.e. an increasingly global and competitive economy, have exerted pressure on Europe’s comprehensive social welfare systems.  Legal and illegal migration, also characteristics of an increasingly interconnected world, have contributed to a rise in the diversity of Europe’s societies.  Connecting the existing literature on immigration and political economy, Schierup, Hansen and Castles (2008) highlight European welfare states’ dual challenge of promoting equity in an age of open economies, and of serving an increasingly diverse society.  This paper aims to contribute to the literature on the welfare state by focusing on immigration policy and socio-economic inequality in Germany, with a focus on the policy positions of its main political parties. To this end, party manifestos and speeches will be used to analyze public discourse and partisan positions on social and economic inequality, immigration, integration, citizenship and the German welfare state’s capabilities to address the migrant crisis. Public opinion shifts will also be considered, for example as presented by the Deutschlandtrend poll, and as evident in the degree of support of various social movements, such as the populist, right-wing Pegida movement.

Structural Roots of Changes in Polish Income Inequality: 1989-2012
Aleksandra Malinowska (UT Austin)

This paper asks whether massive changes to Poland’s industrial structure and to economic institutions and policies can explain trends in its pay inequality.  Using a rich, continuous dataset on pay differences across economic sectors and regions, I investigate the role of the following structural shifts: a dramatic growth in private industry, accompanied by an expansion of the financial sector; expansion of the public sector (likely surrounding EU accession); growth in the education sector; rapid non-agricultural development in rural areas; and reduction in the supply of labor to agriculture.  I show that trends in inequality between regions and industries are consistent with those predicted by these explanations.  Given Poland’s conservative management of the financial sector, the sector’s contribution to inequality did not change significantly in the wake of the 2008/9 financial crisis.  The implication is that inequality must be understood in the context of broader structural and institutional changes, and that a narrow focus on redistributive policy may be too limited to address it.

Exploring Inequalities in Water Access, Basic Needs, and Health Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa
Frank Davenport, Maximilian Stiefel, Sari Blakely, and Stuart Sweeney (UCSB, Geography)

We use Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to examine changes in access to basic infrastructure and resulting health outcomes. Specifically, we analyze the changing inequality in access to potable water, electricity, and housing quality, and then examine if these changes correlate with child mortality, stunting, and incidences of diarrheal diseases. We define changing inequality by examining the percentage of the population with access to basic needs over time. For example, if the percentage of households with access to piped water decreases over time, we would classify this trend as an increase in inequality because a smaller proportion of the population has access to this basic need. We believe that there are two major forces that would drive these changes 1) High fertility in poorer rural regions and 2) Migration from rural regions to urban ‘slum’ areas. In both cases the changes occur because a specific population grows faster than the civil infrastructure necessary to support that population. Our initial focus is on the relationship between water quality and health in areas where there is an increasing divide between households with and without access to potable water.  We focus on water quality because lack of access to clean water can have enduring impacts on the local population and economy through retarded infant and child growth, increased infant and child mortality, and reduced overall fitness in adults.


Biographies

Amit Ahuja is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at UC Santa Barbara. His research focuses on the processes of inclusion and exclusion in multiethnic societies. He has studied this within the context of ethnic parties and movements, military organization, inter-caste marriage, and skin color preferences in South Asia. His book manuscript, Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements, is under contract at Oxford University Press. He has begun a second book-length project, Building National Armies in Multiethnic States.  Professor Ahuja’s research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Institute of Indian Studies, the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Hellman Family Foundation, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Michigan.

Sari Blakeley is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at UC Santa Barbara. Her interests include increasing food security through use of financial tools and improving tools with remote sensing products. Her interests center on sub-Saharan Africa, and she has traveled to Sénégal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Uruguay. In her previous job at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Blakeley worked with local and international NGO's, local governments, meteorology offices, and regional insurance organizations to better interact with local populations for improved comprehension of extreme weather events, climate variability, and better risk management. Sari holds a master's degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University in 2012 and in 2010 she earned a BS in International Studies, Economics, and French from Michigan State University.

Eileen Boris is the Hull Professor of Feminist Studies and Professor of History, Black Studies, and Global Studies at UCSB. She writes on the home as a workplace--on domestic, industrial, care, and mother workers—and on racialized gender and the state.  She is president of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History. She holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in the History of American Civilization. Her books include the prize-winning monographs Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State, co-authored with Jennifer Klein, (Oxford University Press, 2012, 2015), as well as Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care, co-edited with Rhacel Parreñas (Stanford University Press, 2010).  Her next book is The Making of the Woman Worker: Global Standards, Gender Difference, and the ILO, 1919-2019.

Frank Davenport is a researcher at the Climate Hazards Group located within the Geography Department at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research analyzes food systems by trying to unpack the relationships among weather, crop production, grain prices, health, and food security. Three overarching questions guide Dr. Davenport’s work: 1) How will climate change impact existing spatial patterns of food security and human health? 2) How will the integration of domestic markets and international markets alter the influence that local and global forces have on regional food production and prices? 3) What unique methodological challenges confront us when analyzing food systems? His recent papers analyze the relationship between weather and low birth weights in Africa, price behavior in Mexican maize markets, and methods for estimating standard errors when working with spatial panel data. Prior to his research career Dr. Davenport spent 5 years as a GIS analyst and strategic planner, implementing enterprise GIS and decision support systems for environmental agencies in California, Panama, and Abu Dhabi.

Gary Dymski received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1987. He joined the faculty at the Leeds University Business School (LUBS) as Chair in Applied Economics in 2012 after 21 years in the University of California system. Gary’s research focuses on the subprime and Eurozone crises, banking and financial regulation, and urban development. With Dr. Annina Kaltenbrunner of the LUBS economics faculty, he is leading a project on inequality and finance in Europe. He and Phil Purnell (Faculty of Engineering) are co-leaders of the University of Leeds’ newly-announced “Cities: Sustainable Society and Resilient Infrastructure” research theme.

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin.  His most recent book, The End of Normal, was published in September, 2014 by Free Press. His previous book, Inequality and Instability was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, and his next one, Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know, will also be published by Oxford. Galbraith holds degrees from Harvard (A.B., 1974) and Yale (Ph.D. in Economics, 1981). He won a Marshall Scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, and served on the congressional staff, including as Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee. He is chair of Economists for Peace and Security and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, and in 2015 advised the Finance Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Yanis Varoufakis. In 2010 he was elected to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.  In 2012, he was President of the Association for Evolutionary Economics.  He is a 2014 co-winner of the Leontief Prize for advancing the frontiers of economic thought.

Andrea B. Haupt is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Santa Barbara City College, and the Director of the Global Studies Program.  She received her PhD from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007.  Before joining SBCC's Political Science Department, she held a visiting position at The Ohio State University, and a position at DePaul University in Chicago. Her research focuses on globalization and political parties, with an emphasis on European politics.  Her research has been published in Party Politics, and, with James Adams and Heather Stoll, in Comparative Political Studies.

Nelson Lichtenstein is Professor of History at UCSB, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. Thereafter he worked in publishing in New York and taught at The Catholic University of America and at the University of Virginia before joining the UCSB faculty in 2001. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including a biography of the labor leader Walter Reuther and State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (2002, 2013 revised). His most recent books are Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy (2016, co-edited with Richard Appelbaum); The Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left’s Founding Manifesto (2015, co-edited with Richard Flacks); The ILO From Geneva to the Pacific Rim (2015, co-edited with Jill Jensen); The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination (2012, co-edited with Elizabeth Shermer); A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics and Labor (2013); The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (2009, 2010); and American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century (2006). In 2008 he was elected to the Society of American Historians and in 2012 the Sidney Hillman Foundation awarded him its Sol Stetin Award for lifetime achievement in labor history.

Aleksandra Malinowska is a doctoral student in the Education Policy and Planning program in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include social and educational inequality, migrant education, education policy, and immigration policy. Malinowska works for the University of Texas Inequality Project concentrating on Central and Eastern Europe. She is also a graduate student trainee at UT-Austin’s Population Research Center, and a Young Scholar at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Aleks is working on finishing her dissertation on post-secondary and labor outcomes for Texas migrant students.  She holds an M.A. degree in Global & International Studies, and a B.S. in International Business Administration and Chinese Language and Literature.

Aashish Mehta is Associate Professor of Global Studies at UC-Santa Barbara.  A development economist, his main research focus in recent years has been the interconnections between structural change, employment, human capital, and economic inequality.  His work emphasizes the interplay between institutions and structural forces in driving human development and conditioning the outcomes of policy interventions.  His publications appear in leading journals in many fields, covering a wide array of topics, including commodity price crises, food subsidy programs, caste- and skin-color discrimination, electricity sector restructuring, international human rights regimes, and land rights. Previously he served as an economist at the Asian Development Bank, working in both operations and research.

Bidyut Mohanty is the Head, Women’s Studies Unit, Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi, and Visiting Fellow at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB.  She teaches courses on Women, Culture and Development which leverage her 20 years of experience working with elected women representatives at the grassroots level to take on theoretical questions in human development.  She has coordinated or led multiple studies for the UNDP, ISS, UNWOMEN, UNAIDS  and the National Commission on the Protection of Child Rights, covering issues such as HIV/AIDs, trafficking, sanitation, women’s empowerment and the role of panchayat.  She has previously organized workshops for the Orfalea Center on Inclusive Development in Asia and Revisiting Micro credit as a development strategy for an inclusive growth: A global perspective. Dr. Mohanty is also a specialist on Famine, Agrarian History and Decentralization Studies with a focus on Gender, Culture and Development in a comparative perspective between India and China. Her publications include several edited books, most recently: Panchayats, Women and Health for All (2014, New Delhi, Concept Publishing House).

Dena Montague is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Black Studies Research at UCSB.  She received her PhD in Political Science from UCLA.  Her research interests include political economy of inequality with particular focus on intergroup disparity and racial stratification in liberal republican democracies.  She has published in SAIS Review of International Affairs, Brown Journal of World Affairs, and French Cultural Studies.

Alice O’Connor is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History at UCSB.  She teaches and writes about poverty and wealth, social and urban policy, the politics of knowledge, and the history of organized philanthropy in the United States.  Among her publications are Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History; and Social Science for What? Philanthropy and the Social Question in a World Turned Rightside Up. Her current research focuses on wealth, inequality, and the politics of redistribution in the twentieth century U.S.

Jan Nederveen Pieterse is Mellichamp Professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in globalization, development studies and cultural anthropology. He was previously at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and the University of Amsterdam. He holds a part time chair at Maastricht University. He currently focuses on new trends in twenty-first century globalization and the implications of economic crisis. He has been visiting professor in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Thailand. He is on the editorial board of Clarity Press, the Journal of Global Studies and e-global, and is associate editor of the European Journal of Social Theory, Ethnicities, Third Text and the Journal of Social Affairs. He edits book series on Emerging Societies (Routledge) and New Trends in Globalization (Palgrave Macmillan).

Emiko Saldivar (Ph.D.) is currently Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist at UCSB. Her work has focused on race, ethnicity, mestizaje and anti-racism, with a special focus on the state and indigenous people. Her book Practicas Cotidianas del Indigenismo (IBERO- Plaza Valdez 2008) is an ethnography of the state where she explores the connections between state formation, indigeneity and race in Mexico. She has published several articles and books chapters both in Spanish and English. 

Maximilian Stiefel is a second year Geography PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara studying population structure and change under environmental hazard risk. He is interested in both biophysical impacts and perceptual implications of environmental hazards. Max focuses on developing countries, with a special emphasis on spatial and socioeconomic distributional equity. At UCSB, Max works to advance institutional sustainability as a Graduate Student Representative for the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee and a Carbon Neutrality Fellow in support of a UC Office of the President Initiative.

Stuart Sweeney is Professor in the Department of Geography and Director of the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research at UC Santa Barbara.  After earning a BA from UC San Diego, he completed his Ph.D. (1999) in City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His diverse academic research interests span topics from applied statistics, spatial analysis, economic geography, demography, and development.

Casey Walsh is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCSB.  His research falls into two general areas. The first is the anthropological political economy of rural society, and how water, land and labor have been organized to produce commodities in areas marked by aridity, especially northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. His first book (Building the Borderlands, 2008, Texas A&M Press) is a socioeconomic and cultural history of irrigated cotton agriculture in northern Mexico.  He is now finishing a book (Mexican Water Cultures, under contract, UC Press) about bathing, infrastructures and mineral springs in Mexico, and embarking on a study of the political economy of groundwater in California. The other major thrust of his research concerns the history of anthropological thought, and the ways in which it has been applied to development.