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Adverse incorporation, social exclusion and chronic poverty

Samuel Hickey
Andries du Toit


There are a number of compelling reasons to focus on the ways in which the processes and relations of adverse incorporation and social exclusion (AISE) underpin chronic poverty. In particular, AISE research draws attention to the causal processes that lead poverty to persist, and to the politics and political economy of these processes and associated relationships over time. Specific dimensions of AISE are explored in relation to chronic poverty – namely political, economic, socio-cultural and spatial – and are found to relate closely to long-term historical processes, particularly concerning the nature and forms of capitalism, different stages and types of state formation, and institutionalised patterns of social norms and attitudes. However, it is also stressed that much of the promise of AISE research lies in its capacity to cross analytical boundaries and capture the multi-dimensional and interlocking character of long-term deprivation. This analysis suggests a number of fruitful areas for research, most of which are currently under-explored in poverty research. In methodological terms, there are benefits to adopting integrated qualitative-quantitative approaches when investigating AISE, although it is argued that (a) the relational nature of AISE and the limitations of quantitative data may dictate that qualitative work should take priority here and (b) that more historical and theoretically oriented forms of research are particularly appropriate in studying AISE. To think about challenging AISE involves shifting the frame from policy to politics and from specific anti-poverty interventions to longer-term development strategies, particularly in terms of industrialisation and labour market restructuring, moves towards developmental states and supporting shifts from clientelism to citizenship. However, a range of more immediate development policy interventions may also be able to make headway in challenging the forms of AISE that perpetuate poverty.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


concepts politics India adverse incorporation social exclusion social relations Vietnam

ISBN: 1-904049-80-X


Adverse incorporation, social exclusion PDF 354.7 KB

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