Poverty Politics Research Group

The Poverty Politics research project

"Poverty politics. Current approaches to its production and reduction" is a research programme initiated in 2004 that comprises multiple affiliated projects and people.


Concerns about poverty who is the poor, why they are poor, and what can be deemed a proper response to them have long been at the core of discourses about society and its others. This comparative and multi-disciplinary project is a direct response to current discussions in development politics and the difficulties experienced in the implementation of poverty-reducing strategies.

Far from being a straightforward condition of deprivation and destitution that is easily defined empirically or unambiguously detected through standardised indicators and measurement, poverty is a contentious and complex construct. Poverty is entangled in an archetypal thick discourse, encapsulating a vast range of social, political and historical struggles, constantly evolving new values, imagery, social identities and material outcomes. While a lack of key resources is at the core of most poverty registers worldwide - what defines that lack differs widely across societies and over time. The experience of being poor forged from a multiplicity of possible lacks and shortcomings