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Decentring poverty, reworking government: movements and states in the government of poverty

The Government of Chronic Poverty: from the politics of exclusion to the politics of citizenship? working paper series

Anthony Bebbington
Diana Mitlin
Jan Mogaladi
Martin Scurrah
C. Bielich


We consider how social movements in South Africa and Peru rework poverty as a domain of policy intervention. National 'mappings' of social movements reveal that 'poverty' is rarely central to movement framings challenges they address. This contrasts with government’s justification of policy in terms of impacts on 'poverty'. Movements thus seek to change the government of poverty discourses as well as the government of poverty reduction interventions.  They do this through direct action, negotiation and co-production. Movements' main challenge is to make such challenges without becoming themselves subject to, or even the subjects of, these same practices of government.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


policy poverty South Africa Peru social movements Government of chronic poverty series

ISBN: 978-1-906433-51-2


1 Decentring poverty, reworking government PDF 401.0 KB

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