Poor sharing? Examining tensions between inequality, the rich and environmental concerns

12 May 2015, 12.00 PM - 12 May 2015, 1.00 PM

Prof Iain Hay

Seminar Room 1, School of Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

A special talk by Benjamin Meaker Fellow Professor Iain Hay.


With the intent of highlighting some of the moral and practical implications of ‘poor sharing’, this lecture explores difficult tensions between growing numbers of the rich, rising inequality, and heightening environmental concerns. Typically, consequences of inequalities in the wealth and income of individuals are problematized in terms of their political and social welfare dimensions. For example, in his wonderful 2014 polemic Inequality and the 1%, Danny Dorling focuses on the implications of Britain’s super-rich for childhood, work, wealth and health. In The Spirit Level (2009) Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett show how eleven different health and social problems are more pronounced in more unequal rich societies. And in The Price of Inequality (2013), Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, points out that the richest 1 per cent have the best houses, education, medical services, and perhaps even the best lifestyles, but fail to understand that their fate is inextricably entangled with how the other 99 percent live. In this embryonic paper I endeavour to upturn and extend the relationships to which Stiglitz refers and extend the thinking of others like Dorling and Wilkinson and Pickett, to take some tentative and preliminary account of ways in which the environmental fate of the 99 percent may be bound to the activities of the 1 per cent.

About Iain Hay

Professor Iain Hay is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Human Geography in the School of the Environment at Flinders University, South Australia. He completed his PhD at the University of Washington as a Fulbright Scholar and received a LittD from the University of Canterbury for 20+ years of post-doctoral work on geographies of domination and oppression. He is author or editor of ten books including Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (4th edn Oxford 2015) and Geographies of the Super-Rich (Elgar 2013) and has had editorial roles with journals including Applied Geography; Ethics, Place and Environment; and Social and Cultural Geography. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Geographical Research. Iain is a recent past President of the Institute of Australian Geographers and is currently Vice-President of the International Geographical Union. In 2006, he received the Prime Minister's Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year. Since then he has been admitted as Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012) and as a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences (2014). During his stay in the School of Economics, Finance and Management, Iain will be working with Professor Jonathan Beaverstock and looks forward to making connections with other colleagues in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, and the Cabot Institute, on the very emotive issue of, ‘The super-rich, inequality and emerging environmental challenges.’

For further information of Iain’s visit, please contact Professor Jonathan Beaverstock


This event is free and open to all but you must book.



Contact information


This event is being organised by the Cabot Institute with support from Prof Jonathan Beaverstock of the Department of Management at the University of Bristol.

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Prof Iain Hay

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