The term “inequality” has been at heart of discussion for many decades. To further study about inequality, it is important to distinguish the equality of outcome to equality of opportunities. The former focuses on the individuals who get access to equal outcome regardless of their different capabilities, while the later centers on the opportunity that is given equally to everyone without taking into consideration their differences. It is also significant to note that people can get the same access to opportunities given by government, but due to personal advantages, it is unlikely that they obtain same outcomes. In Kuznet’s hypothesis, when inequality takes place within a country, not only it hinders development, but it also limits the rights of citizens. However, there is a counterargument saying although inequality happens, development still can progress; one of the prime examples is the case of India where it depends on state’ leadership to deal with the problem despite their existing inequality. In addition, political equality (politics of recognition) is precondition for economic equality (politics of redistribution) because when there is no patron-client relationship, the wealth and income distribution will not be concentrated in the hand of elites, yet to the majority. Moreover, Rousseau’s ontological equality gives emphasis on inborn equality, which rooted from the division of class, gender, status, religion, ethnicity and race as well as the division of labor and private property under Marxism. People work on the same task, for example farming, and receive the same outcome. Inequality can also be seen in North-South division in regards to its dependency and unequal exchange when the exploitations partly occurred in the South by the North. Moreover, unlike Marxism, Max Weber looks at the inequality in non-economic determinants such as values, norms and status, which is divided into open status and close status or status by decent. He states that technological advancement also widens the gap between the rich and the poor. The chapter also stresses on the structuralist and non-structuralist approaches to inequality. Structuralist approach stresses that inequality is caused by system or structure which there is no way to avoid. On the contrary, non-structuralist approach believes that inequality exists owing to social discrimination toward gender, race and ethnicity. Besides, in this contemporary world, inequality is triggered by liberal economic policies, macro-economic stabilization and labor market as well as financial deregulation. Furthermore, egalitarian theorists have identified exploitation, economic marginalization and deprivation as socio-economic injustice. Amedya Sen’s thesis on relationship between diversity and equality also reveals that different outcomes of each individual are the result of different personal qualities. Hence, government must be able to set platform where everyone can compete equally, but it is citizens’ personal choices and attributes to reap what they deserve.
Personally, I have learnt a lot from this chapter in regard to diverse concepts of different theorists on inequality ranging from political, economic and structural to social inequalities in individual, government as well as state level. What I have noticed the most is the essential roles of leadership and government in differentiating the contrasting aspect between equality of opportunities and equality of outcome to further implement policies and pursue strategies that ensure equality for all citizens regardless of gender, class, race, religion and ethnicity. Still, different aptitudes of people are to be taken into account in determining outcomes. To have good governance, it is necessary for government to eliminate patron-client relationship and improve various sectors in accordance to expertise of distinct parts of country to enhance development and benefit citizens as a whole.