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Poverty Dynamics$
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Tony Addison, David Hulme, and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557547.001.0001

Bringing Politics Back into Poverty Analysis

Why Understanding of Social Relations Matters More for Policy on Chronic Poverty than Measurement

Chapter:
(p.205) 9 Bringing Politics Back into Poverty Analysis
Source:
Poverty Dynamics
Author(s):

John Harriss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557547.003.0009

This chapter argues that most poverty research is working with a model of knowledge from the natural sciences: that is to say, there are objective facts to be discovered; methods for uncovering these facts improve over time as better techniques are discovered and employed; and, predictive theories that can be universally applied across all societies will eventually emerge. However, this approach is doomed to disappointment, because the focus is on measurement and on the characteristics of individuals and households with very little attention to the structural processes that move people in and out of poverty. It highlights similarities between the new asset-based approaches and research during the 1970s on agrarian differentiation and class formation.

Keywords:   poverty research, poverty dynamics, poverty assessment, objective facts, predictive theories

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