BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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Jointly Addressing the Three Red Waves: Poverty, Inequality, and Climate Change

Hasanaj, Valon (2022). Jointly Addressing the Three Red Waves: Poverty, Inequality, and Climate Change. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

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Poverty, inequality, and climate change –which, I refer to as ‘the three red waves’− are the defining issues of our time (Stern, 2009; World Bank, 2021a). They are all interconnected and their trends have clearly deteriorated in recent years. Firstly, the twenty-five-year trend of constantly declining global extreme poverty was interrupted in 2020, and currently, around 10 percent of the world's population lives in unbearable conditions (World Bank, 2020). Secondly, economic inequality continues to increase at unprecedented levels, with the richest 10 percent earning 52 percent of the world’s share of total income and possessing 76 percent of the total wealth (Chancel et al., 2022). Thirdly, climate change poses a persistent and existential threat, with the temperatures on Earth reaching record highs in recent decades, and exposing more than six billion people to moderate or severe ecological hazards (Stern, 2007, Apparently, these issues are serious and persistent, and current government policy responses will determine the scale of future repercussions for human civilization and our planet. This dissertation primarily focuses on contemporary welfare states and environmental states, as uniquely positioned domains to jointly address ‘the three red waves’. Looking through the lens of these policy areas, and later expanding on their policy instruments and policy actors, in this research work I propose a three-fold contribution. In terms of policy areas, I developed a novel and systematic theoretical framework to explain global contemporary welfare state policy variations and directions. Building on a formal three-stage process, the framework includes the most pressing social, economic, and environmental risks of the twenty-first century, and it is empirically validated by advanced empirical methods, using a uniquely assembled dataset for one-hundred-fifty countries. Following these findings, I later present a refined theoretical and empirical understanding of the eco-welfare state −a concept aimed at exploring and promoting synergies between welfare states and environmental states. Moreover, considering that these policy areas can only be successful in tackling ‘the three red waves’ if crucial policy instruments are implemented and responsible policy actors take effective measures, I offer two other findings: I present a novel approach for predicting the pathways that lead to the highest public support for a policy instrument, and then provide insights into the variations in government leaders' responses to a specific crisis.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Cumulative
Date of Defense: 15 December 2022
Subjects: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
Institute / Center: 03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 17:11
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 16:29

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