LSE Announces Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies

In naming this chair after Amartya Sen, we recognise one of the world’s great thinkers on social equity.
— Minouche Shafik, LSE Director

 The London School of Economics and Political Science has today (Wednesday 13 March) announced the creation of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies, named in honour of the India-born economist, philosopher and Nobel laureate, who was Professor of Economics at LSE from 1971-82. 

The holder of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies will also serve as Director of the International Inequalities Institute (III), LSE’s flagship initiative focused on studying and challenging one of the most pressing issues of our time. 

LSE Director Minouche Shafik said: “The International Inequalities Institute is a living embodiment of the School’s enduring commitment to working for the betterment of society through research, education and public engagement. In naming this chair after Amartya Sen, we recognise one of the world’s great thinkers on social equity. We look forward to appointing an outstanding person to lead the work of the Institute as it continues to to deliver sustainable and meaningful benefits to people and global communities.” 

The public announcement of the chair was made during LSE’s biannual Amartya Sen Lecture. “Foundations of State Effectiveness” was delivered by Professor Sir Tim Besley with Professor Sen serving as discussant and LSE Director Minouche Shafik chairing. 

The inauguration of the Amartya Sen Chair marks a further milestone for the III, following the 2016 launch of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, backed by a historic £64 million, 20-year gift by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the School’s largest to date. 

Sen’s theories of justice, equity and well-being – just like the work of the III and the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity – transcend disciplines, build bridges to real-world policy and practice, and inspire generations to improve the human condition.
— Christopher G. Oechsli, President and CEO, The Atlantic Philanthropies

Christopher G. Oechsli, President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies, said: “It is fitting that the Chair at the International Inequalities Institute (III) is in Amartya Sen’s name. Sen’s theories of justice, equity and well-being – just like the work of the III and the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity – transcend disciplines, build bridges to real-world policy and practice, and inspire generations to improve the human condition.” 

The III’s new director will take over the leadership of the III from Professor Mike Savage, who will return full-time to the Martin White Chair in Sociology at LSE. Professor Savage and Professor Sir John Hills, who holds the Richard Titmuss Chair in Social Policy, were inaugural co-directors of the III, which launched in 2015. 

Following an open recruitment process launching this month, the new Director of the III and Amartya Sen Chair in Inequalities Studies is expected to take up post in January 2020. 

Contact: Jess Winterstein, LSE Media Relations, 020 7107 5025, j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk

Notes for editors 

The International Inequalities Institute and Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity 

The International Inequalities Institute (III) provides co-ordination and strategic leadership on the inter-disciplinary analysis of inequalities at LSE. It connects research on inequalities across the School, engages with the public and policy-makers, and develops and supports new world-class research. 

Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE), housed at the III, is one of seven Atlantic Fellowships worldwide. It brings social change leaders from around the world to LSE to explore the root causes of inequality and to work for fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. 

The III and AFSEE benefit from a significant investment by Atlantic Philanthropies as part of its global commitment to harnessing the power of research and social change initiatives to further global equity. 

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) studies the social sciences in their broadest sense, with an academic profile spanning a wide range of disciplines, from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance. 

The School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is one of the most international universities in the world. Its study of social, economic and political problems focuses on the different perspectives and experiences of most countries. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe. Visit http://www.lse.ac.uk for more information.