Inequality against Freedom: Economic Power, Markets, and the Workplace

Inequality against Freedom: Economic Power, Markets, and the Workplace

Research project information

NWO VIDI project 

  • Obtained by: dr. N. Vrousalis
  • Total grant: €797,000
  • Starting: 2019

Description

Economists, political scientists and philosophers have long cautioned that inequalities in income and wealth may adversely affect politics, by giving moneyed interests power over elected officials or by attenuating their connections to the common good.

These arguments from democracy or fairness tend to operate under the assumption that inequality does not undermine individual freedom. Indeed, some economists and philosophers maintain that inequality normally enhances individual freedom: by expanding the option sets of affected agents, inequalities that reflect mutually beneficial transactions between consenting adults seem freedom-enhancing.

The NWO-funded VIDI project Inequality against Freedom studies these assumptions, which an eye to uncovering conditions under which mutually consensual and beneficial inequalities in income and wealth could be freedom-reducing.

The project features three subprojects:

  1. the political philosophy of freedom, in general
  2. the political philosophy of markets
  3. the political philosophy of the workplace

More information about the project can be find here

Team

Nicholas Vrousalis is Associate Professor at the Erasmus School of Philosophy of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He read economics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, wand received a doctorate in political philosophy from Oxford. Vrousalis' research focuses on distributive ethics, democratic theory, the history of political thought, and Marxism, which are also, broadly construed, his areas of supervision of graduate students.

Before coming to Rotterdam, Vrousalis taught moral and political philosophy at Cambridge, Leiden, and  KU Leuven. He has held fellowships at UC Louvain, where he was an ARC Fellow, at Princeton University, where he was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow, and at Aarhus University, where he held a EURIAS/COFUND Fellowship.

For more information, see Vrousalis’ ESPhil profile page.