The aim of this book is to understand the political processes which determine why poverty, the elimination of which is now a shared objective of governments of rich and poor countries alike, has been on a falling trend in some countries and not in others. The evidence, this book argues, contradicts the view expressed by the OECD and others which suggests that the poor, lacking resources and solidarity, will not be able to exercise leverage over government. But why can they do this in some places and not in others? The answer, the book argues, lies partly with the political environment surrounding governments in the developing world – the presence or absence of political stability and governments’ motivation to form pro-poor coalitions – and partly with the actions which they take, especially in the fields of institution-building and fiscal policy.
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