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Jacobia Dahm

The institutions and political inequality research department focuses on the political economy of social and political inequality.


Our research is concentrated in four clusters: horizontal contestation, vertical linkages, exclusion, and elite connections. These clusters derive broadly from a focus on two types of social division: horizontal divisions between identity groups, and vertical divisions between those that have more or less access to political power.

  • Work in the vertical linkages cluster focuses on the ways that citizens can exercise control over political elites, and how elites in turn act to represent, influence, or repress citizens.
  • Work in the horizontal contestation cluster focuses on between-group divisions, the effects of such divisions, and on strategies to best address horizontal divisions.
  • The political exclusion cluster focuses on responses to exclusion from political power include protest and violence, but also fleeing and hiding.
  • The elite connections cluster focuses on the ways that political power is concentrated and how economic inequality translates into political inequality.