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Social Inequality as a Complex Global Challenge moderated by Nermeen Shaikh

Washington, DC

April 22, 2024 | Monday | 3:45 pm

Gaston Hall in Healy Hall

3700 O St NW,
Washington, DC 20057 ( see map )
The principle of equality, while long enshrined in national constitutions and international institutions, remains an unrealized ideal for global humanity. The growing gap between ideal and reality, within and across countries, is feeding resentment and driving the growth of populism and authoritarianism worldwide. At the same time, conflicting understandings of equality—in terms of opportunity or results, for example, or as a matter of class, race, or gender—have made it increasingly difficult to build broad political coalitions to promote it in practice.

How serious is the problem of inequality, and why does it matter? Are there practical as well as principled reasons to make the issue a priority? Where should we invest most hopes for greater equality in our world—in global governance, national innovation, or transnational activism?

This event is part of the Georgetown Global Dialogues, which feature leading intellectuals from the Global South in forward-looking conversations with U.S.-based thinkers across a range of topics. It will begin with a short In Your Shoes™ performance, which harnesses the power of dialogue and deep listening to celebrate a diversity of perspectives.


Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote an Indian poet, theorist, and curator whose influential work centers on the complex history and presence of cultural pluralism from the local to the global. He has authored eight books of poetry—including Icelight (2022), Jonahwhale (2018), and a translation of a fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic-poet, I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd (2011)—and the acclaimed book Confluences: Forgotten Histories between East and West (2012, with Ilija Trojanow). Hoskote has curated more than 50 showcases of Indian and global art over the past three decades, including India’s first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Nesrine Malik

Nesrine Malik is an acclaimed British Sudanese author and journalist known for her wide-ranging commentary on issues of race, identity, politics, and international affairs. She is the author of We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent (2019) and has columns in leading outlets including The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post that address topics ranging from Islamophobia and feminism to African politics, with deep insights into the ways colonial and postcolonial legacies shape our contemporary world. Malik received the 2021 Robert B. Silvers Prize for Journalism.

Kohei Saito

Kohei Saito is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Tokyo and a leading contemporary Marxist thinker. His most recent book, Capital in the Anthropocene (2020), has sold more than half a million copies in Japan and was published in English as Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto in January 2024. Saito’s previous book, Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy (2017), which creatively explored the ecological dimension of Marx’s thought and its contemporary relevance, won the Deutscher Memorial Prize.

Branko Milanovic

Branko Milanovic is a research professor at the Graduate Center City University of New York and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. His most recent books are Visions of Inequality: From the French Revolution to the End of the Cold War (2023) and Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World (2021). His book Global Inequality (2016) was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the best political book of 2016 and was translated into 16 languages.

Nermeen Shaikh

Nermeen Shaikh (moderator) is a co-host and senior producer at the independent television news hour Democracy Now! based in New York City. She is the author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power (2007). Shaikh also serves on the board of directors of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and regularly speaks and writes on issues ranging from global politics and film to psychoanalysis and literature. She was previously the managing editor at Asia Society and has worked in development and research organizations in London, Islamabad, and Tehran.

Event is free, RSVP is required. Get tickets

Nermeen Shaikh

Nermeen shaikh 85x113
Nermeen Shaikh is a producer and co-host of Democracy Now! Nermeen has previously worked in research and non-governmental organizations and has an M.Phil. from Cambridge University. She is the author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power (Columbia University Press). You can watch her TEDx talk here