This chapter examines a range of different ways of determining whether or not someone is 'poor' in an absolute sense, before discussing poverty in relative and cultural terms and the related idea of inequality. Income poverty has many limitations as a measure of poverty. Other ways of conceiving and measuring the poverty of individuals include: taking gender and other inequalities into account within and between households; relative poverty or social exclusion; poverty as a deprivation of capabilities; and incorporating multiple dimensions of deprivation. Poverty is also applied to whole communities, regions, or countries. Two main contrasting ways of measuring poverty at these levels are gross national income (GNI) per capita and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Globally, patterns of poverty and inequality are changing so that the majority of poor people no longer live in poor countries as measured by GNI per capita. Global poverty also has to be considered alongside social disintegration and environmental destruction as interrelated issues and parts of a 'global crisis'.
Naila Kabeer and Alan Thomas
William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton
This chapter examines whether affluent states should commit significant funds to alleviate poverty abroad. It argues not only that they should, but also that their duties to those who live in poverty go far beyond this. This argument in favour of development aid is based on the idea that an individual has a duty to prevent something very bad from happening when they can do so at little cost to themselves. The chapter then highlights that the global order plays a significant role in the persistence of global poverty, and this further supports the case for development aid. It also considers the claim that states should prioritize meeting the claims of their own members ahead of the claims of those who live abroad. The chapter shows that, even if this is true, it does not undermine the case for committing significant funds to alleviate global poverty.
This chapter examines the problem of global poverty. There is widespread extreme global poverty. There is also global affluence, which raises the question of what, if any, duties affluent individuals and institutions of that group have in relation to those in poverty. One of the most powerful arguments in support of the idea that there is a duty to aid that holds between individuals across the globe comes from philosopher Peter Singer. Singer thinks we should accept that we must rescue people at least when doing so does not require us to sacrifice anything of comparable significance. It may be that the only way to eradicate extreme global poverty is through a large-scale institutional change that will involve radically changing domestic, transnational, and international institutions. However, smaller-scale institutional change, such as that achieved through foreign aid, may help.
Edited by Tim Allen and Alan Thomas
Poverty & Development in the 21st Century provides an updated, interdisciplinary overview of one of the world's most complex and pressing social problems. The book analyses and assesses key questions faced by practitioners and policy makers, ranging from what potential solutions to world poverty are open to us to what form development should take and whether it is compatible with environmental sustainability. This third edition considers the complex causes of global poverty and inequality, introducing major development issues that include hunger, disease, the threat of authoritarian populism, the refugee crisis, and environmental degradation. Three new chapters illustrate the impact of climate, refugee and health crises on development by drawing on accounts of lived experience to explore the real-world implications of theory.
Valeria Cetorelli and Alan Thomas
This chapter explores the relationship between population growth and poverty. There are differing views as to whether rapid population growth hinders economic growth and poverty reduction and whether there is a limit to the number of people the Earth can sustain. The 'revisionist' view is that on the contrary 'development is the best contraceptive' and it is poverty that keeps fertility high, while economic growth is not necessarily inhibited by rapid population growth. In this view, family planning is not an overriding priority but forms part of a rights-based agenda for providing access to reproductive health. The new consensus amongst analysts accepts that access to reproductive health, together with women's education and general improvements in health and living standards, remains the best route to lower fertility.
Tim Allen and Tom Kirk
This chapter illustrates the nature of current wars and armed conflicts and explores contemporary responses to them. Whatever criteria are used for war or armed conflict, it is clear that large numbers of people are impoverished by them, and globally the numbers of those affected is not declining. There are characteristics of contemporary wars and armed conflicts that make non-combatants especially vulnerable. Since the end of the Cold War, there have been important initiatives aimed at controlling wars, and at alleviating their effects, but the effects have been limited, and controversial. Particularly since 2001, there are has been a marked tendency for high levels of insecurity to spread across borders and take on global dynamics. In large parts of the world, enhancing security remains a key challenge in alleviating poverty and is a prerequisite for achieving development goals.
Enduring Underdevelopment and Insecurity
This chapter examines Guatemala’s underdevelopment in the context of social, economic, cultural, and political rights. It first provides an introduction to poverty and multiple inequalities in Guatemala before discussing patterns of state formation in the country. It then considers the 1996 peace accords, which represented an attempt to reverse historical trends, to ‘engineer development’, and to secure the human rights of all Guatemalans. It also explores human security and development in Guatemala and identifies the main contemporary causes of the country’s persistent underdevelopment: a patrimonialist and predatory state underpinned by a strong, conservative private sector, an extremely weak party system, the continued influence of active and retired members of the armed forces in politics, entrenched counterinsurgency logics, and the increasing presence of transnational organized crime.
This chapter examines how we should think about ethics, starting with three framing questions: Do states and their citizens have significant moral duties to the members of other countries? Should states and their militaries be morally constrained in the conduct of war? Who is morally responsible for the alleviation of global poverty? The chapter proceeds by defining ethics and considering three significant and difficult ethical issues entailed by globalization: cosmopolitanism, statism, and realist ethics. It concludes by examining the ethical dimensions of global poverty and just war. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the ethics of migration and the other with the ethics of just war. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that debates who bears most responsibility for addressing global warming.
Tony Evans and Caroline Thomas
This chapter examines the contested nature of three important concepts in world politics: poverty, hunger, and development. It explores whether the poor must always be with us, why so many children die of malnutrition, and whether development should be understood as an economic issue. It also considers orthodox and alternative approaches to development as solutions for poverty and hunger. Two case studies are presented: first, Haiti’s rice production crisis; second, multidimensional poverty alleviation in Himachal Pradesh. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the neoliberal world order will ultimately deliver on its promise of development and the abolition of poverty and hunger worldwide. One argument in favour of neoliberalism is that it places human freedom at its centre, while one criticism is that declining state social and welfare provision have damaging effects.
M. Steven Fish, Jason Wittenberg, and Laura Jakli
This chapter examines key factors that lead to failed democratization. It first describes five categories of countries: established democracies, established autocracies, robust democratizers, tenuous democratizers, and failed democratizers. Using the Freedom House Index, it explains why some democratizers slid backwards while others did not. In particular, it looks at the conditions that undermine democracy and political actors, such as the chief executive, that contribute to democratization’s derailment. The chapter identifies several major structural factors that influence whether democratization succeeds fully, succeeds partially, or fails. These include poverty, a late history of national independence, a large Muslim population, economic reliance on oil and gas, and gender inequality. The chapter concludes by considering ways of reducing the hazards of democratic reversal and preventing relapses into authoritarianism, such as strengthening legislatures and curtailing executive power.
This chapter discusses the origins and development of the field of peace studies after World War II, initially in relation to the East-West confrontation and the nuclear arms race. It examines how peace studies responded to the issues of socio-economic disparities and environmental constraints, such as climate change and poverty, that emerged in the 1970s. It also considers the evolution of peace studies as an interdisciplinary and problem-oriented field of study, often in the midst of controversy. In particular, it looks at a number of developments within peace studies, including a major interest in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping. Finally, the chapter analyses the state of peace studies now and how it is relevant to the new security challenges facing the world.
Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin
Issues in Political Theory provides an introduction to political theory and how it is applied to address the most important issues confronting the world today. It has a focus on real-world issues and includes case studies. The text examines important and influential areas of political theory. The text includes chapters on liberty, global poverty, sovereignty and borders, and the environment provide readers with fresh insight on important debates in political theory. Case studies in this text look at contemporary issues including same-sex marriage, racial inequality, sweatshop labour, and Brexit.
Ikenna Acholonu, Charlotte Brown, and Ingrina Shieh
This concluding chapter brings together reflections from practitioners, thinkers, and academics. They comment on achievements and challenges for social progress in the world over the past 30 years, and outline possible futures for poverty and development. Economist and historian María del Pilar López-Uribe speaks about the experiences of South American countries. She is an authority on the long-term effects of climate change and geography on institutional drivers of economic development, and on the history of land conflicts and property rights in Colombia. Meanwhile, Leonard Wantchekon highlights the role of technology in shaping the future of development. Affan Cheema also offers a practitioner's perspective on the need to approach humanitarianism from a more holistic perspective in relation to development. The chapter then looks at how warnings of the effects of climate change have galvanized international movements calling for governments to declare a climate emergency and prioritize policies that promote sustainability and mitigate the environmental impact of the global economy. Since forming in spring of 2018, the environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion has organized protests that have reached international scale.
This chapter addresses the relationship between education and poverty. Education has become a central development plank for the World Bank and other multilateral organizations, partly because of the connection between education, development, and the reduction of poverty. Such organizations continue to sponsor and spearhead different programmes geared towards enhanced educational access and engagement (particular at primary school levels). Owing to such programmes, greater numbers of children have access to schooling across the globe, impacting on poverty levels. However, the benefits and opportunities purportedly associated with education are not accessible to those groups which are governed by their structural positions within systems of social and economic inequality. The promised education-related returns are not always forthcoming, particularly for those lacking important forms of social capital.
Charlotte Brown and Ruth Pearson
This chapter evaluates how gender analysis can be applied to development, in both understanding the context in which it takes place and assessing development policies. The twenty-first century marked the rhetorical acceptance and embrace of gender analysis with a continued emphasis on women's rights and practical interests. However, it is important not to see efforts to meet practical gendered interests in opposition to efforts to challenge existing gender roles. A twin-track effort is necessary to meet the challenges of gendered experiences of poverty while also ensuring broader application of gender analysis addressing strategic gender interests and analysing the causes of gender inequality in order to address the uneven nature of progress towards gender equality. Recent years have highlighted a number of new areas of foci for political activism: gender inequality and abuse within organizations and across development practices; resurgence of conservative views on gender roles; and fluid gender roles.
This chapter explores the accuracy and validity of the root causes of terrorism. Following the wake of recent terrorist acts and campaigns, the public, media, and policymakers seek to understand the reason behind terrorism. The chapter mentions the difficulty of scholars trying to pin down root causes. It looks into controversies related to academic attempts to explain terrorism. Martha Crenshaw identifies preconditions and precipitants as the causes for terrorism. Tore Bjørgo categorizes structural, facilitator, motivational, and triggering causes. The chapter lists the political and structural roots of terrorism ranging around nationalism, religious extremism, education, and poverty. Another method when analysing the root causes of terrorism is to consider terrorism as a response to state behaviour.
This chapter examines the origins and development of the field of peace studies after the Second World War, initially in relation to the East–West confrontation and the nuclear arms race. It analyses how peace studies responded to the issues of socio-economic disparities and environmental constraints as they became apparent in the 1970s, and explores its development as an interdisciplinary and problem-oriented field of study, often in the midst of controversy. The chapter then assesses the state of peace studies now, before concluding by examining how it is especially relevant to the new security challenges facing the world.
This chapter examines the contested nature of three important concepts in world politics: poverty, hunger, and development. It explores whether the poor must always be with us, why so many children die of malnutrition, and whether development should be understood as an economic issue. It also considers orthodox and alternative approaches to development as solutions for poverty and hunger. The chapter includes two case studies. The first looking at the hunger of children around the world, comparing the pre- and post-pandemic situations. The second case study examines hunger in Uganda, again, comparing the state of hunger for families in that country before and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
This chapter examines the key conceptual debates on inequality that were common until the end of World War II and the birth of the field of ‘development’. Two inequality-related questions have dominated development debates for decades. Firstly, does growth inevitably lead to inequality? And if so, does it matter, as long as poverty declines? The debates around these questions began in the 1950s with Simon Kuznets’ introduction of the ‘inverted-U hypothesis’, which posited that relative inequality increases, but only temporarily, in the early stages of economic growth, improving once countries reach middle-income levels. The chapter considers the politics and economics of inequality in the developing world as well as inequalities in the age of globalization. It concludes with an assessment of the World Bank’s incorporation of the goal of ‘shared prosperity’ in its discourse alongside its ongoing concern to reduce poverty.
12. Global Growth, Inequality, and Poverty:
Power and Evidence in Global ‘Best Practice’ Economic Policy
Robert Hunter Wade
This chapter argues that economists have oversold the virtues of globalization, displaying confidence in derived policy prescriptions well beyond the evidence. The most spectacular recent demonstration of hubris is the failure of almost the whole of the mainstream economics profession in the few years before 2007–8 to forecast a major recession. The chapter then outlines the neo-liberal world view and its application in the form of the development recipe known as the Washington Consensus. Since the 1980s, the Western economic policy ‘establishment’ has espoused a doctrine of ‘best economic policy’ for the world which says, put too simply, that ‘more market and less state’ should be the direction of travel for developed and developing countries. This overarching neo-liberal ideology embraces globalization as a major component, relating to the nature of integration into the international economy. The chapter then looks at trends in world income distribution and poverty, bearing in mind the optimistic claims of the globalization argument.