Poverty and Politics in Middle Income Countries

Poverty and Politics in Middle Income Countries

WORKSHOP organised by CROP and the Institute for Social Development at the University of the Western Cape, aims to enhance comparative and critical views of poverty politics; to consolidate the recently formed Working Group on Poverty Politics and Social Policy, and to prepare the publication of an anthology based on selected contributions.

22-24 November 2012 | Cape Town, South Africa

Workshop programme

According to the latest World Bank estimates (Feb 29, 2012) there is a visible “decline in both the poverty rate and the number of poor in all six regions of the developing world".  While figures showing how poverty rates have fallen between 1980 and 2010 might bring some hope, they obscure the fact that the number of poor individuals has remained more or less unchanged over 4 decades at 2.5 billion. In retrospect, the distribution across countries and within countries has changed dramatically. Today 2/3 of the poor are living in Middle Income Countries (MICs) while in 2005 the proportion was considerably less than 1/3 (26.5%) and most poor people lived Low Income Countries (LICs).

The explanation of this huge change in the geopolitics of poverty is at a first sight quite intuitive. Over the past decade 26 poor countries with a  large poor population (including giants like India) have graduated into the MIC category due to the changes that they have experienced in those aspects of development that are measured by international agencies. Meanwhile strategies and policies against poverty remained quite stable with the known results.

The traditional thought, strategy, and action on poverty was mainly concentrated in the circumstances and realities of the LICs. The question that naturally arises here is how this new reality of a growing poor population in the MICs is inducing us to (re)think anti-poverty strategies and policies. More knowledge seeking out the characteristics, causes and future impacts of the nature of poverty increase reduction that has occurred in the MICs is necessary.  At the heart of this lies the role played by politics and public policy in shaping social development policies and their impact on well-being in MIC countries.

The workshop will bring together a maximum of 20 participants from across all university disciplines, addressing one or several of the following questions:
-Is poverty reduction in MICs distinctive?
-Social development: reduced extreme poverty, increased inequality?
-Public policies and politics: less important than economics?
-Politically vulnerable welfare regimes?


See the Call for Papersdocument for further details.

The call is open to everybody  although preference will be given to researchers based in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants are expected to actively parttake with presentations and in discussions of all the papers.

Call for Papers


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