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Can elites be progressive? Rethinking the potential of elites in progressive politics


Workshop: Friday 13 November, 12:00–15:00 Helsinki time (10:00–13:00 GMT). Register below.

Organised by Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation (BIBU) and INEQ network at the
University of Helsinki.

Given the rise in inequality in recent years, elites’ relationship with the rest of society has become a
matter of interest for social research asking whether elite identities are becoming more exclusive
and elites are pulling away from the rest of society. In this workshop, we take a new angle by
asking the following question: Can elites can be progressive? Elites are not a uniform group but
include various groups and cultures. Thus, this workshop seeks the cracks in the wall, identifying
variation and potential progressiveness in elite identities and cultures while comparing Anglo-
American, Nordic, South African and South American experiences. Moreover, potential lines for
future research will be discussed.

Programme (in Helsinki time):
12:00: Risto Kunelius, University of Helsinki: Welcome and introduction of participants
12.15: Mike Savage to reflect on ‘elites and social change: is there such a thing as progressive elite politics?’
12.30: Kristina Kolbe & Mike Savage, London School of Economics: An institutional politics of place: Rethinking the critical function of art in times of growing inequality
12.45: Luna Glucksberg & Louise Russell-Prywata, London School of Economics: Elites and Inequality - A Case Study of Plutocratic Philanthropy in the UK
13.00: Comments by Panos Kompatsiaris, Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

13.15: Comfort break
13:30: Anu Kantola, University of Helsinki: Why should elites care? Elites in search of a societal role
13:45: Mikko Weckroth, Teemu Kemppainen, Anu Kantola & Hanna Wass, University of Helsinki: Elite attitudes towards welfare society in Nordic and Anglo-Saxon countries
14:00: Chana Teeger, London School of Economics: Elite attitudes towards redistribution in Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay, paper accessed here
14:15: Comments by Maren Toft, University of Oslo

14:30–15:00: Discussion of future research

Join the workshop via this e-form by Tuesday, 10 November. Zoom link will be sent only to registered participants.

Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation (BIBU)
Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ)