In recognizing that poverty is \"multi-dimensional\", contemporary
policy discourses - drawing on scholarship on 'networks',
'exclusion', and 'culture' - have made important (if often
underappreciated) steps to incorporate insights from social and
political theory, but these (hardwon) gains now need to be consolidated,
advanced and sharpened. To build significantly on them, coherent
theories of and useful policy responses to chronic poverty require
attention to three additional (and interrelated) realms, which must
cumulatively be able to
- provide a clear but distinctive model of human behaviour,
- explain how and why poverty persists as part of broader processes of
economic prosperity and social change,
- account for the mechanisms by which power is created, maintained and
- readily lend themselves to informing (and iteratively learning from)
a new generation of supportable poverty reduction policies and
These three additional realms - social relations, rules systems, and
meaning systems - are deeply grounded in a long tradition of social and
political theory, and offer an opportunity to take a next step towards
more faithfully incorporating the full richness of social science into
poverty policy and practice.
Toward an economic sociology of chronic poverty: enhancing therigor and relevance of social theory. CPRC Working Paper 104, Manchester: IDPM/Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), UK, ISBN 978-1-906433-03-1, iii + 17 pp.
Toward an economic sociology of chronic poverty: enhancing the rigor and relevance of social theory. CPRC Working Paper 104.