The Politics of Poverty Reduction

ISBN : 9780199692125

Paul Mosley; Blessing Chiripanhura; Jean Grugel; Ben Thirkell-White
432 Pages
159 x 240 mm
Pub date
Mar 2012
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Globally, there is a commitment to eliminate poverty; and yet the politics that have caused anti-poverty policies to succeed in some countries and to fail in others have been little studied. The Politics of Poverty Reduction focuses on these political processes. Analysis is based partly on global comparisons and partly on case-studies of nine countries that span the developing world. Where governments are politically weak, they need to make alliances with other groups to stay in power, and where these have been with low-income groups, the result may be a lasting and effective pro-poor strategy. Often pro-poor policies have been brought in not with progressive intentions, but out of fear that the state will fall apart unless pro-poor elements are incorporated into government, and the most effective regimes in reducing poverty have seldom been the kindest and most benevolent. Ability to provide the poor with access to key markets, in particular labour and capital, is crucial, and this in turn requires fiscal strength. Two crucial elements in the story are the ability to frame labour-intensive policies (given that labour is often the only thing that poor people are able to sell) and the design of effective tax and expenditure policies. Aid donors can make a key contribution, partly through reinforcing recipients' fiscal capacity, but much more through providing technical support of the right kind.


1. Introduction
2. A short history of 'pro-poor policy', 1970-2008
3. The politics of crisis and macro-adjustment
4. Political violence and poverty reduction
5. Long-term poverty reduction strategies
6. Institutions, state capacity, and poverty
7. The global politics of poverty reduction
8. Summary and conclusions
9. Argentina
10. Bolivia
11. Malaysia and Indonesia
12. Russia
13. African case studies: Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe

About the author: 

Paul Mosley holds BA and PhD degrees in economics. He has worked mostly in academia but also in government, as economic adviser to the Kenya Treasury (1969-71) and the UK Department for International Development (1979-81). He has also worked in a voluntary capacity for both development and social policy NGOs and is currently on the board of the Sheffield Credit Union. His publications include Aid and Power (2e, 1995), Finance against Poverty (1996) and Poverty and Social Exclusion in North and South (2003).

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