Inequality and Solidarity

Panels and Discussions

The expansion phase of financial capitalism that ended in 2008 led to an above-average increase of global economy. At the same time the level of inequality within societies and among states got bigger. Policies to fight back the crisis from 2008 onwards caused record-high public debts and intensified this trend. The middle-class, as an agent of social balance, comes under pressure. Budgetary room for social transfers is getting tighter. Is the break-up of social cohesion, thus the break-up of social market economy inevitable?

Where are approaches for a new definition of social solidarity beyond traditional models of redistribution? How much equality does a society need that is based on social solidarity, and how much inequality can it bear – or require? In which direction does this sociopolitical experiment move? Which new institutions of social solidarity are possible and how about their democratic legitimization?


Elsa Fornero
Italian Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, as well as for Equal Opportunities

Ira Katznelson
Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University; President, Social Science Research Council

Michael Sandel
Professor of Government, Harvard University

Andreas Treichl
CEO, Erste Group, Vienna

Alfred Gusenbauer
former Chancellor of Austria

A cooperation of Burgtheater, ERSTE Foundation, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) and DER STANDARD