Economic Clout 2018

It is reasonable to say that the World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international summit featuring the most influential actors in the global economy.

If this is in fact the case, then the number of national delegates taking part in WEF discussions can be seen as a proxy for a state’s current economic clout.

Here is an image describing the number of national delegates who took part at the recent WEF summit in Davos:


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Two data catch the eye:

a) the United States (782) is by far the most represented country followed by the UK (259), Switzerland (229), and China (120)

b) Western Europe and the United States form the biggest bloc of countries, having approximately more than half the delegates of all the other regions of the world combined

If the assumption about the role of national delegates as a proxy for economic clout is correct then it should be clear where the center of power in the global economy lies.

But is this really the case? Or is national representation at the WEF misleading?


How has global economic inequality evolved in recent decades?

The 2018 World Inequality Report is finally out.

This comprehensive report shows how global inequality has evolved from the 1980s to present day. The report reveals that income inequality has recently increased in nearly all world regions, although at different speeds. That inequality levels are significantly different, even among countries that share similar levels of development, points to the important roles that national policies and institutions have in shaping inequality.

Among the report’s main findings:

-Since 1980, the richest 0.1% of the world’s population (about 7 million) have increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50% (about 3.8 billion). Meanwhile, the global middle class (which contains all of the poorest 90% income groups in the European Union and the United States) has been squeezed.

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-The combination of large privatizations and increasing income inequality within countries has fueled the rise of wealth inequality among individuals. In Russia and the United States, the rise in wealth inequality has been extreme. In the United States the richest 1% accounted for 39% of the nation’s wealth in 2014 [the latest year available], up from 22% in 1980. Whereas in Europe it has been more moderate. Wealth inequality has not yet returned to its extremely high early-twentieth-century level in rich countries.

Is increasing inequality inevitable?

The report argues it is not. Especially if national governments acted to bring in progressive income tax. According to the report, such a move would not only reduce post-tax inequality but also shrink pre-tax inequality “by discouraging top earners from capturing higher shares of growth via aggressive bargaining for higher pay.”

Moreover, the report maintains that taxation alone is not enough to tackle economic inequality as the wealthy are best placed to avoid and evade taxes, as evidenced by the recent investigation into the Panama Papers. In fact, a tenth of the world’s wealth is said to be held in tax havens.

What about the United States?

Well, according to a recent article published in the New Yorker, the final Republicans’ tax bill “is a recipe for even more inequality”. Read the original article here.

You can also access the full 2018 World Inequality Report here.

The Trump Project is finally Live!

The 2016 US presidential campaign and the eventual election of Donald Trump to the White House generated a renewed interest in American Studies. This was the context that led the UCD Clinton Institute to organize an international conference that would examine the political and cultural significance of Trump’s election as president of the United States and consider the first 100 days of his administration. Titled “Trump’s America”, the conference discussed a variety of fascinating topics ranging from populism through foreign policy and immigration to the concept of post-truth (The full list of the speakers and their relative papers can be accessed through the Clinton Institute website)

The “Trump’s America” conference was also the catalyst event for the creation of the “Trump Project”. The “Trump Project” brings together a number of international scholars with a diverse range of expertise in US politics and foreign policy, including Robert K. Brigham, Professor of History and International Relations at Vassar College, and Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of International Politics at City University London. The Trump Project aims at creating an international network which will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and analyses over topical issues in international affairs in relation to the Trump presidency. As a first step, a Trump Project website has been created in order to provide a platform to develop future research, teaching, and outreach programs (further information about the individual project members and their research interests can be found on the Trump Project website)

Newsletter 30/10/17


Summer 2018 Associate Programme at RAND
The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. Over seven decades, we have earned a reputation for excellence through our focus on high-quality, objective research and analysis. The RAND Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students to the RAND Corporation, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of domestic and international social policy issues and national security problems. RAND employs about 800 researchers in Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Pittsburgh, PA; and Boston, MA. RAND researchers publish their work in various types of reports and numerous peer-reviewed journals. For eligibility visit the website. Deadline 4 December.

Newsletter 23/10/2017

Job Opportunities

Strife is hiring!
We are a dual-format publication founded in 2012 by PhD students and researchers from the War Studies Department of King’s College London. Comprised of an academic Blog and a peer-reviewed Journal, Strife is run by postgraduate students and doctoral researchers from the School of Security Studies. From its debut in 2012, Strife has grown from 5,000 annual views to over 1.5 million unique pageviews worldwide, with an audience that spans all the inhabited continents. Included among our steady viewers are academics and practitioners in diverse fields, research institutions, journalists and media conglomerates. Strife’s thematic focus is ‘conflict’, in all shapes, forms and senses of the word. We combine political, historical, literary, and philosophical approaches to this phenomenon through blog and journal articles, as well as unique formats like photo essays, book, film, and art reviews. We aim to provide thought-provoking, unique perspectives on all aspects of conflict, from the cultural to the practically applied. We are currently looking for outstanding individuals willing to join the Editorial Team. The positions currently available include:

Communications Manager (MA or PhD applicants)
Coordinating Editor – Journal (PhD applicants only)
Senior Editor – Journal & Blog (PhD applicants only)
Series Editors – Blog (MA or PhD applicants)
Editor – MA Representative (MA applicants)
Editor – BA Representative (BA applicants)

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter to In the subject line please state ‘Editorial Board application’ and specify the position you are applying for. The deadline for applications is 25 October.
Assistant Professorship (three positions) – War Studies
The Danish Institute for Advanced Study, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (beginning Spring/Autumn 2018)

Research in War Studies is focused on the changing character of war and its relation to peace, and the impact of modern warfare on states, societies and military organizations. Our research agenda addresses the character of modern war, innovation and adaptation in strategy and military organizations, as well as the relationship between war, peace building, and human security/rights. We seek candidates with a distinct passion for war studies capable of engaging relevant policy communities and publishing in top scholarly outlets. We encourage applications from security studies scholars typically anchored in international relations but with a multi-disciplinary profile enabling cooperation with related fields such as international law and history. This prestigious position, supported by the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies (D-IAS), should appeal to highly promising early career scholars and will provide them with attractive conditions to support their research activities.  We offer a uniquely ambitious research environment and ample research funding attached to this particular position, and, for the successful candidate, a position where options for tenure will be discussed during a third-year review.
Application guidelines can be found here. For further information please contact Prof. Sten Rynning, telephone +45 6550 2193 or email Application deadline 27 November.

Subject Experts Required For Country Reports – Single Payment Of 3,000 GBP And MoU For Future Work With Unity
Unity Resources Group is a global security risk management company delivering enterprise wide risk services in both traditional and challenging environments. We are hunting for subject experts to research and produce a report on the following countries: South Sudan, Kenya, Syria, Tajikistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Azerbaijan, and Venezuela. Each country report will be 50-70 pages and require historical, structural, and analytical content on the political, policy, security, macroeconomic, and international relations setting, including a short to medium term outlook. Country research can be provided prior to the task, and the report should be completed within two weeks. Please send a letter of interest and your resume to

American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2018 -Call for Papers

American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2018

Call for Papers

The forty-fourth annual conference of the American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association will be held at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 January 2018. The keynote speaker will be Professor Marc J. Hetherington (Vanderbilt University)

There is a broad conference theme: “The US Constitutional and Political Order: Challenges and Constraints”. This can be approached in various ways, and we will also be happy to receive proposals considering subjects and material beyond this particular theme. For example, papers or panel proposals examining contemporary US political institutions or processes, foreign policy issues or political history are invited. The conference organizers would also welcome papers addressing comparative themes or relevant theoretical or methodological issues. Proposals (no more than 150 words for single papers, 300 words for panels) should be sent to Dr Clodagh Harrington ( by no later than 20 October 2017.

The APG is the leading scholarly association for the study of US politics in the UK and also has members in continental Europe and the USA. Further details about the group and its activities can be found on the APG website (


Full details of the conference will also be posted on the website. In the meantime any enquiries should be directed to Clodagh Harrington.


Dr Clodagh Harrington

Chair of the American Politics Group