Against the Odds: Politicians, Institutions and the Struggle Against Poverty

Front Cover

Chief Minister Digvijay Singh of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil skillfully leveraged their power to achieve major breakthroughs. Though these men barely knew or communicated with one another, each deployed a similar repertoire of political devices -- persuasion, distraction, bargaining, stealth, and political and social pressure -- to pursue shared goals.

Singh, Museveni, and Cardoso proved two crucial things about developing economies: the reduction of poverty is politically feasible even under severe economic and political constraints, and political benefits come to those who achieve it, enhancing popularity, legitimacy, and influence. If leaders of other developing countries could recognize these truths, serious efforts to reduce poverty could be implemented and flourish in the most unlikely of places. The result of a collaboration between three renowned political scientists, each specializing in one of the book's three countries, Against the Odds features extensive fieldwork and detailed, comparative analyses, resulting in a comprehensive and cohesive study.

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About the author (2012)

Marcus Andre Melo is professor of political science and the director of the Center for Public Policy at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.

Njuguna Ng'ethe is professor of political science and the former director of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

James Manor is the Emeka Anyaoku Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the V.K.R.V. Rao Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change in Bangalore, India.

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