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Jan Nederveen Pieterse

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 25: Global Inequality: Bringing Politics Back In

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Global Inequality: Bringing Politics Back In
Global inequality: Bringing politics back in
Introduction

The data on contemporary human inequality are dramatic and widely known:

Consider the relative income shares of the richest and poorest 20 per cent of the world's people. Between 1960 and 1991 the share of the richest 20 per cent rose from 70 per cent of global income to 85 per cent – while that of the poorest declined from 2.3 per cent to 1.4 per cent. So, the ratio of the shares of the richest and the poorest increased from 30:1 to 61:1. … by 1991 more than 85 per cent of the world's population received only 15 per cent of its income. (UNDP 1996: 13)

At the beginning of the twenty-first century about a ...

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