in cooperation with the
34. Jahrestagung / 34th Annual Meeting 2014
From Middle Class Society
to an Age of Inequality?
Social Change and Changing Concepts of Inequality in Germany and Great
Britain after 1945
May 8 – 9, 2015
Großbritannien-Zentrum / Centre for British Studies
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Mohrenstraße 60
10117 Berlin
Friday, May 8
14.15 – 14.30 Welcome
14.30 – 15.45 Workshops
Außenpolitik (Gustav Schmidt)
Geschichte (Christiane Eisenberg / Andreas Fahrmeir)
Vergleichende Politik (Sebastian Berg / Klaus Stolz)
15.45 – 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 – 18.00 Workshops (continued)
18.00 – 19.00 Dinner
Keynote Lecture
Martin Chick (University of Edinburgh): Wider still and wider? Inequality,
Wealth and Income in Britain since 1945
Saturday, May 9
8.45 – 9.00
Conference Introduction
Bernhard Dietz (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz) and Felix Römer
(GHI London): Welcome and Introduction
9.00 – 10.30 Panel I: Politics
Chair: Klaus Stolz (Technische Universität Chemnitz)
Felix Römer (GHI London): Concepts of Social Justice in Great Britain after
Cornelius Torp (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg): Pension
Systems and Inequality in Old Age. Germany and Great Britain since 1945
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 – 12.30 Panel II: Economics
Chair: Christopher Neumaier (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung
Wencke Meteling (Philipps-Universität Marburg): „International
Competitiveness“. Policy Implications of an Economic Concept in Great
Britain and Germany
Bernhard Dietz (Johannes Gutenberg Universität-Mainz): New Economic
Elites? Managers in Germany and Great Britain between the 1960s and 1980s.
12.30 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 15.30 Panel III: Redistribution
Chair: Felix Römer (GHI London)
Marc Buggeln (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Taxation Policy in Britain
and Germany in the 1980s: The Change to Neoliberalism and Rising
Jenny Pleinen (Universität Augsburg): Taxation as a Means of Redistribution
in British Politics since 1945
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.30 Panel IV: Opportunity
Chair: Bernhard Dietz (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Wilfried Rudloff (Universität Kassel): Class Structures, Socialization and
Heredity: Scientific and Political Debates on Educational Inequality in England
and Germany between the 1950s and the 1970s
Anna Kranzdorf (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): A Reinforcer of
Social Inequality? Classics in Secondary Education in Germany and Britain
after 1945
18.00 – 18.30 Coffee Break
18.30 – 20.00 ADEF General Meeting
Conference Dinner
In 2014, virtually no book has drawn so much attention or dominated the political-historical
debate than Thomas Piketty’s world-wide bestseller, „Capital in the Twenty-First Century”. In
this book, the French economist describes the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate
of economic growth as the main driver of inequality. Wealth always grows faster than
income: according to Piketty’s formula, we live in an age of rising inequality and the middleclass society that flourished for a generation after World War II was only a temporary
aberration of an otherwise clear and distinctive trend of rising social inequality. Regardless of
the methodological problems of Piketty’s analysis, one major effect of his book is that it has
given new stimulus to an ongoing and increasingly global debate on social inequality.
Inequality figures prominently in public debates and is addressed by international
organisations, governments, political parties and think tanks. Given its multidimensional
nature, inequality affects almost every aspect of society; and its intersecting categories,
drivers and impacts encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from income and wealth, gender,
education, health and ethnicity to regional and international inequality.
Historians have recently paid much more attention to this multidimensional character of social
change; and gender and ethnic inequality have come into focus in historical research. Less
attention has been paid to the changing concepts and categories of social inequality and their
interrelations with social and economic developments. Why was what type of social
inequality seen as a problem? What identities, narratives and norms did societies produce to
describe, accept, justify or fight social inequality? Answers to these questions are particularly
interesting in a comparative view. Therefore, this conference brings together German and
British historians studying the evolution of social inequality after 1945 from multiple
perspectives. Participants will discuss a broad range of case studies from Great Britain and
Germany. The conference will explore:
 how attention to various dimensions of inequality changed over time
 how certain groups of society were able to draw attention to their social inequality
 how the changing concepts of inequality were connected to political, social and
economic events and developments.
Conference Venue
Centre for British Studies / Großbritannien-Zentrum
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Mohrenstraße 60
10117 Berlin
Prices from (pp)
to venue
Conference Hotel for
Charlottenstraße 66
Invited Speakers:
Winters Hotel Berlin
Mitte - Am
123,- €
450 m
Humboldt-Gästehaus Ziegelstraße 13A
50,- € (no breakfast)
1700 m
Hotel Gendarm
Charlottenstraße 61
Hotel Gat Point
Mauerstraße 81-81
Refer to
GroßbritannienZentrum for booking
120,- €
300 m
125,- €
400 m
108,- €
750 m
Schützenstraße 11
Mercure Hotel
Checkpoint Charlie
Dr. Bernhard Dietz
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität
Historisches Seminar / Neueste Geschichte
Jakob-Welder-Weg 18 (Campus)
D-55128 Mainz
Tel.: +49-(0)6131-3927191
email: [email protected]
Dr. Felix Römer
German Historical Institute London (GHIL)
17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
Tel. +44-(0)20-730920
email: [email protected]

From Middle Class Society to an Age of Inequality?