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The Predistribution Agenda

The Predistribution Agenda

Claudia Chwalisz & Patrick Diamond

29 October 2015



The Predistribution Agenda: Tackling Inequality and Supporting Sustainable Growth

The concept of predistribution is increasingly setting the agenda in progressive politics. But what does it mean? The predistributive agenda is concerned with how states can alter the underlying distribution of market outcomes so they no longer rely solely on post hoc redistribution to achieve economic efficiency and social justice. It therefore offers an effective means of tackling economic and social inequality alongside traditional welfare policies, emphasising employability, human capital, and skills, as well as structuring markets to promote greater equity.

At the same time, experts have warned that any shift away from a welfare state underpinned by traditional programmes of redistribution is potentially misguided: redistribution and predistribution should be complementary rather than alternative strategies. This book explores how far key concerns of the predistribution agenda relate to social democratic politics in Western European societies, in particular how to secure the support of middle-income voters, women, families, and younger generational cohorts in an era of austerity.

This book examines the key debates surrounding the emergence and development of predistributive thought with contributions from leading international scholars and policy-makers.

The Predistribution Agenda is published by I.B. Tauris and is available here.

Karen Anderson, Lucy Barnes, Rémi Bazillier, Marius Busemeyer, Claudia Chwalisz, Paul de Beer, Patrick Diamond, Ingrid Esser, Andrew Gamble, Paul Gregg, Alfred Gusenbauer, Jacob Hacker, Peter A. Hall, Anke Hassel, Evelyne Huber, Alan Manning, Sophie Moullin, Geoff Mulgan, Ania Skrzypek, John D. Stephens, Ernst Stetter, Dimitris Tsarouhas, Pieter Vanhuysse, Anne Wren

About the editors:

Patrick Diamond is co-chair of Policy Network and lecturer of public policy at Queen Mary University of London. He is the former head of policy planning in 10 Downing Street and senior policy adviser to the prime minister. His recent publications include: Can Labour Win? The Hard Road to Power (with Giles Radice, 2015) and Governing Britain: Power, Politics and the Prime Minister (2013).

Claudia Chwalisz is senior policy researcher at Policy Network and Crook public service fellow at the Crick Centre, University of Sheffield. She is the author of The Populist Signal: Why Politics and Democracy Need to Change (2015).


‘The market economy as it is organised today is leading to ever-greater polarisation of people’s economic fortunes, and straining the post-war welfare state to breaking point. This important and wide-ranging collection of essays addresses how to change the framework within which markets operate in order to bring about a less unequal and therefore more sustainable economy.’
– Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester and Founder, Enlightenment Economics

‘A comprehensive rebuttal of the argument that European social democracy lacks the ingenuity to challenge post-crash inequality, this book contains numerous ideas which could underpin the political project we need to revive our electoral fortunes.’
– Tristram Hunt

The book will be debated at an event in central London on 9 December 2015.

Produced in partnership with The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS).

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