Explaining the Gap Between Rich and Poor

August 26, 2021 | Roger & Francine Jean Student Center

Sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Society, social scientist Jonathan Rothwell will discuss his research from the book A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society on how disparities in political power, including limited access to markets and public resources, have resulted in the growth of inequality in the United States. This will be followed by a vigorous exchange of views among panelists Jessica Trounstine and Christopher Freiman.

The event begins with a reception at 4:30 PM (registration required), followed by the lecture at 5 p.m. If you prefer, you can join us virtually.

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jonathan rothwellJonathan Rothwell is the Principal Economist at Gallup. There, he leads research activities for clients on diverse topics, including higher education, job quality, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, automation, and entrepreneurship. Before joining Gallup in 2016, he was a Fellow at the Brookings Institution where he is currently a Nonresident Senior Fellow, and works primarily on issues related to the African American experience. His scholarly work specializes in labor economics, political economy, and applied econometrics. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs. He contributes to the New York Times Upshot column. He is also the author of the 2019 book A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society published by Princeton University Press.


Jessica TrounstineJessica Trounstine earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from UC San Diego in 2004 and now serves as the Foundation Board of Trustees Presidential Chair of Political Science at UC Merced and Chair of the Political Science Department. Before joining UC Merced in 2009, Trounstine served as an Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Policy at Princeton University. She is the author of two award winning books, Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities (Cambridge University Press) and Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers (University of Chicago Press) and numerous articles and book chapters. Trounstine’s work studies the process and quality of representation in American democracy. She focuses on the ways in which formal and informal local political institutions generate inequalities. Trounstine’s scholarship is mixed-method; reliant on historical analysis, case studies, experiments, and large-n quantitative analyses. She has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, city governments, and various community organizations; and serves on numerous editorial and foundation boards. 

Christopher FreimanChristopher Freiman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at William & Mary. He is the author of two books, with a third titled Should We Have Open Borders?: A Debate (with Hrishikesh Joshi) under contract at Routledge Press. Chris has also published over thirty articles and chapters on topics including democratic theory, distributive justice, and immigration. His work has appeared in venues such as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, The Journal of Ethics, Utilitas, Ratio, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. His writing has been featured in a variety of popular outlets, including Reason Magazine, Aeon, and Inside Higher Education. Chris’s recognition at William & Mary includes an Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Class of 1963 Term Distinguished Associate Professorship of Philosophy.

August 26, 2021 from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Melucci Theater, Jean Student Center

Jason Sorens