1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Project: UNRISD Flagship Report: Combating Poverty and Inequality

Flagship Report on Poverty: Section Three

  • Project from: 2006 to 2010

Section Three: The Politics of Poverty Reduction

Section three will comprise the following three chapters.

9. State capacity for structural change and poverty reduction

This chapter will discuss the importance of state effectiveness in economic development, social provision and poverty reduction. It will draw on findings from the research project on "Poverty Reduction and Policy Regimes" to argue that a crucial factor that distinguishes successful from non-successful regimes in these domains is their differential capacities to translate commitments into effective outcomes. In particular, it will address the links between institutions, growth and development; fiscal reforms, state building and policy autonomy; and the suitability of the New Public Management agenda for developing contexts. The chapter will also draw on UNRISD work on "Public Sector Reform in Developing Countries" and the following commissioned papers:
  • Andrew Nickson (University of Birmingham, UK) – Managerial reforms and developmental state capacity.
  • Johnathan di John (School of Oriental and African Studies, UK) – Fiscal reforms, developmental state capacity and poverty reduction.
  • Mushtaq Khan (School of Oriental and African Studies, UK) – Institutions, growth and development.

10. Business, power, and poverty reduction

The chapter will examine the strategies of organized business in influencing development policies, and the conditions under which business is likely to support or oppose progressive social reform. It will also consider how organized business coordinates firm preferences and advances a common business policy, including its lobbying activities and kinds of pacts it enters into with organized labour, the state and communities. The chapter will rely on the UNRISD project on "Business, Social Policy and Poverty Reduction", as well as the following commissioned papers:
  • Michael Blowfield (University of Cambridge, UK) – Business, CSR and Poverty Reduction.
  • Colin Crouch (University of Warwick, UK) – Varieties of governance and social development.
  • Rob van Tulder (Erasmus University, the Netherlands) – The Role of Business in Poverty Reduction.

11. Democracy, active citizenship, and poverty reduction

This chapter will discuss the links between democracy and poverty, and the politics of poverty reduction strategies. It will examine whether democratization has made a difference in terms of the way policy makers respond to the welfare demands of the poor; and analyze differences between the participatory approaches in conventional poverty reduction strategies and those in which social movements and business groups have engaged state actors in shaping macroeconomic and social policies. This work will draw on the past project on "Democracy and social policy", comparative case studies carried out as part of this project, as well as three papers which are currently being prepared to support the chapter:
  • Ricardo Gottschalk (University of Sussex, UK) – The effects of the macroeconomic framework of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) on poverty.
  • Tom Lavers (UNRISD) – The politics of donor conditionality.
  • Nadia Molenaers (University of Antwerp, Belgium) – The politics of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.
  • Adam Sheingate (John Hopkins University, US) – Agrarian social pacts and poverty reduction.
  • Marcos Campelo de Melo (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil) – Democracy, social spending and poverty.