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About the SCIS

Introduction to the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies

The Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) - based at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits University), in Johannesburg, South Africa - has embarked on a multi-partner research and policy project focusing on understanding and addressing inequality in the global South. Our starting premise is that while technical solutions to addressing inequality are very important, they will not be politically feasible unless the social and political forces driving high levels of inequality are clearly understood and addressed. Inequality is a global problem, and studying and addressing it in South Africa will also enable us to enter into a dialogue about inequality in other settings across the global South.

The work of the SCIS is conceptualised around four main areas:

  1. Identifying key areas where inequality shapes the life chances of individuals.
  2. Understanding, through a focus on the structure of the economy and society, and political, economic, and cultural processes, the production, reproduction and intersection of power relations and inequality.
  3. Imagining and locking in an alternative configuration of power relations that generates affirmative state action, provides greater equality of access to relevant resources, and fundamentally alters the structure of power relations in society.
  4. Developing a research and policy agenda for the inclusive growth of productive forces.