Inequality and State Violence: A Preliminary Report
James K. Galbraith
University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs; Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
The University of Texas at Austin
UTIP Working Paper No. 4
This preliminary report asks whether there exist systematic relationships between changes in economic inequality and levels of state violence in countries around the world. The question is, of course, quite natural. Entire lexicons exist that describe economic relationships in terms that evoke violence; such words and phrases as exploitation, dependency, unequal exchange and class struggle are but prominent examples. And the case histories of war, revolution, state terrorism and coups d are certainly loaded with analyses of what seem transparently to be efforts either to rectify gross inequalities, or else to impose them.
Yet from the standpoint of an empiricist, interested mainly in the search for patterns in data, substantial obstacles stand in the way of definite observations. There is first of all the difficulty that reliable measures of change in economic inequality, measures that are both consistent and consistently available, have not existed. Second, there is the problem of arriving at a consistent categorization of types of violence, so that one may predict the effect of each type on economic inequality and vice versa. Third, there is the problem of developing consistent and comparable data across countries and through time on levels and types of violence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
JEL Classification: O15working papers series
Date posted: June 13, 2000
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.407 seconds