Global Aspects and Implications of Horizontal Inequalities: Inequalities Experienced by Muslims Worldwide
Written by Frances Stewart
Both within and across countries, most attention has been devoted to measuring inequality among individuals (and globally countries). Within countries, increasing evidence shows that inequalities among groups (horizontal inequalities, HIs) are important for well-being. However, the global component of HIs is generally neglected. The paper argues that HIs at a global level may also be important for world stability and well-being, in much the same way that HIs are relevant at the national level. With this perspective, the paper reviews Muslim/non-Muslim HIs within developed and developing countries, and between Muslim and non-Muslim countries, finding that Muslims are systematically disadvantaged across many dimensions. It argues that, despite much heterogeneity among the Muslim population, there is evidence of multiple global connections and of shared perceptions, such that inequalities faced by Muslims in one part of the world may become a source of grievance and potential mobilisation in other parts of the world. Consequently, inequalities need to be addressed globally, within countries and between them, and politically as well as with respect to socioeconomic and cultural status.