Rich Democracies, Poor People: How Politics Explain Poverty

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Oxford University Press, Aug 13, 2009 - Social Science - 280 pages
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Poverty is not simply the result of an individual's characteristics, behaviors or abilities. Rather, as David Brady demonstrates, poverty is the result of politics. In Rich Democracies, Poor People, Brady investigates why poverty is so entrenched in some affluent democracies whereas it is a solvable problem in others. Drawing on over thirty years of data from eighteen countries, Brady argues that cross-national and historical variations in poverty are principally driven by differences in the generosity of the welfare state. An explicit challenge to mainstream views of poverty as an inescapable outcome of individual failings or a society's labor markets and demography, this book offers institutionalized power relations theory as an alternative explanation.
 

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Contents

1 Beyond Individualism
3
2 Rethinking the Measurement of Poverty
23
3 Mythical and Real Patterns in Poverty
45
4 The Welfare State and Poverty
70
5 The Politics of Poverty
94
6 The Poverty of Liberal Economics
121
7 Structural Theory and Poverty
145
8 Politicizing Poverty
165
Appendix
182
Notes
205
References
229
Index
251
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About the author (2009)


David Brady is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Duke University and is a widely-published author of articles on poverty, inequality, and globalization.

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