How has globalization changed social inequality? In this groundbreaking book, Globalization and Inequalities, Sylvia Walby examines the many changing forms of social inequality and their intersectionalities at both country and global levels. She shows how the contest between different modernities and conceptions of progress shape the present and future.

The book re-thinks the nature of economy, polity, civil society and violence. It places globalization and inequalities at the center of an innovative new understanding of modernity and progress and demonstrates the power of these theoretical reformulations in practice, drawing on global data and in-depth analysis of the U.S. and EU.

Walby analyzes the tensions between the different forces that are shaping global futures. She examines the regulation and deregulation of employment and welfare; domestic and public gender regimes; secular and religious polities; path dependent trajectories and global political waves; and global inequalities and human rights.

Globalization and Inequalities is essential reading for undergraduate and graduate students and academics of sociology, social theory, gender studies and politics and international relations, geography, economics and law.




Complex inequalities and global processes are a challenge to social theory. In order to insert them into the heart of social theory a series of changes is needed; in consequence new processes become visible and alternative futures thinkable.

The purpose of this analysis is to understand the implications of alternative forms of social change for progress. Rather than rejecting the notion of progress, it is better treated as a contested concept. Four main progress projects were identified and investigated: economic growth and development, equality, human rights, and human development and well-being.

Neoliberalism is not inevitable. There are two main forms of modernity in the global North – social democracy as well as neoliberalism. A key difference between them is the depth of democracy: neoliberalism does not ...

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