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Infographic: Human Awareness about Poverty
Occurrences of the word “poverty” in books, reports and other publications. Based on a word-search of over 5 million items published between 1700 and 2008. (Data source: Google Books Ngram Viewer). (French version)

— Abstract

The concept of poverty is central to contemporary meanings invested in “development.” Within development thought, the concept of poverty has fluctuated as it is reflected in development policy and action toward, or away from, direct goals of poverty reduction or eradication. From today’s perspective this might look natural, but, like all analytical and narrative positions, the relationship between poverty and development is socially constructed. Indeed, poverty has not always been at the heart of development thinking. It has been contested in its meaning, geographical location, causes, and ways to eradicate it. Presently, the question is whether poverty can be conceptualized by merging structuralist and liberal perspectives, or whether one side will find a way to regain a dominant position in development thought.

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— Suggested Readings

Addison, Tony., David. Hulme, and Ravi. Kanbur (eds.) (2009). Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press (especially chapters 1 and 10).

Banerjee, Abhijit Vinayak, Roland Benabou, and Dilip Mookherjee (2006). Understanding Poverty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Collier, Paul. (2007). The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [5MB]

Galperin, Hernan. (2007). Digital poverty Latin American and Caribbean perspectives. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.  (Résumé en français disponible ici)

Hulme, David. (2010). Global Poverty: Global governance and poor people in the Post-2015 Era. London: Routledge (especially Chapter 1).

Kabeer, Naila. (2003). Gender mainstreaming in poverty eradication and the millennium development goals: a handbook for policy-makers and other stakeholders. London: Commonwealth Secretariat. (Version en français disponible ici)

Ravallion, M. (2013). How long will it take to lift one billion people out of poverty?. The World Bank Research Observer28(2), 139-158.

Ravallion, M. (2016). The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy. Oxford University Press.