Scholars and practitioners of development have become increasingly interested in the ways in which politics and power affect pro-poor policy. An important point of departure in this literature, is the assertion that poor people are generally disadvantaged when it comes to influencing policy and are therefore poorly placed to influence the ways in which states allocate rights and resources within society. This paper considers this dilemma by addressing three interrelated features of pro-poor policy: (1) the role that states play in promoting and implementing redistributive policies; (2) the ways in which social actors affect these actions; and (3) competing ideas about the role states should play in encouraging particular forms of development. In so doing, it examines the challenge of implementing coherent policy, exploring problems of coordination, influence and capture. It also considers the ways in which mainstream thinking about rights, governance and development has transformed the conditions under which governments and other agents of development design and implement pro-poor policy.
Johnson, C.; Start, D. Rights, claims and capture: Understanding the politics of pro-poor policy. Overseas Development Institute, London, UK (2001) 37 pp. ISBN 0 85003 524 4 [Working Paper 145]