Jordan Wright

Global Inequality Research Coordinator (2019-2020)

Inequality is the lens through which human experience is refracted: poverty and wealth, privilege and discrimination, development and underdevelopment.

According to Oxfam international in 2018, just 26 of the world’s richest owned the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the world’s poorest. Meanwhile, every day 10,000 people die globally as a result of lack of access to affordable healthcare (ibid.) and it has marginalized people of all forms who are made to carry the brunt of these inequities. As Kimberle Crenshaw demonstrated in 1989 with the concept of ‘intersectionality,’ people have multidimensional identities and, as such, they experience inequalities in ways which are overlapping, mutually-exacerbating, and which require policy solutions that reflect this complexity.

As reflected in Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals, reducing inequality, both within and among countries, is a pivotal objective of international development. It is the moral imperative that gives meaning to the development project beyond progress for the sake of profit. Despite the incredible strides that the world has made to reducing inequality, it remains a crucial challenge for policymakers the world over. This year’s inequality team will address this challenge.

We aim to further the current literature on inequality and human development through multidisciplinary research, to understand the varied and unequal ways in which people experience underdevelopment, development processes, and orthodox development systems. We also aim to provide policy recommendations which centre intersectionality and go beyond economic theory to account for social realities. In so doing we hope to contribute to the ever-growing body of literature on inequality and human development.”

Publications

The Black Blocs: Political Purpose Behind Perceived Chaos

On Saturday November 16th, 2019, I set out to do an ethnographic observation of their one- year anniversary of the Gilets Jaunes protest. Their classic protest spot is the Champs Elysees, so that’s where I planned to go, but my efforts were swiftly blocked, literally and physically, by the closure of 24 metro stations in the city and rows of police preventing people from getting anywhere near the protest sites. After discussing with several police about how I could get access to the area for research purposes, I was widely advised to go to Place d’Italie.

By Maria Fustic

Published on: December 15, 2019

The Black Blocs: Political Purpose Behind Perceived Chaos

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Beyond Access: Reclaiming ICTs for Human Development

Recent progress in the diffusion of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) promises to be an important accelerator of participatory processes in the field of development cooperation. Notwithstanding the benefits of growing digital infrastructure in developing countries, questions remain as to whether the mere diffusion of physical ICT access can truly empower previously excluded groups. Illustrating how persisting barriers continue to preclude a large share of individuals from a meaningful engagement with ICTs, this paper cautions that a singular focus on hardware diffusion may in fact deepen inequalities in developing countries.

By: Vera Schroeder

Published on: January 21, 2019

Beyond Access: Reclaiming ICTs for Human Development