The moment of inequality: Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st century and global political culture



21 May 2014

Since its English translation in March, French economist Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century has become a global phenomenon. Reaching number one on the New York Times bestseller list, the book has been subject to countless articles in the global press and its conclusions have been on the lips of policy makers around the world. Not in decades has an academic book had such immediate and wide-ranging attention and effect.

This event, held in partnership with the University of Sydney's Laureate Research Program in International History, brought together a variety of scholars to discuss the book and its findings as well as the question of why global attention is now turning to economic inequality. The four scholars opened with brief remarks about the book, followed by a panel discussion, and then invited audience members to join in the conversation.

The event was moderated by Whitney Fitzsimmons, Presenter, ABC News and featured US Studies Centre and University of Sydney speakers:

  • Dr Thomas J. Adams, Lecturer in History and American Studies
  • Dr Mike Beggs, Lecturer in Political Economy
  • Dr Robbie Peters, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Director of Development Studies
  • Professor Glenda Sluga, Professor of International History and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow


  • Dr Thomas Adams
    Dr Thomas Adams
    Academic Coordinator and Lecturer in American Studies and History, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney)

    Dr Thomas Jessen Adams is Lecturer in American Studies and History at the United States Studies Centre and in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. He is the academic coordinator at USSC. His research and writing focuses on political economy, labour, social movements, urban history, and race, gender, and American politics.