Description - Elite Perceptions of Poverty and Inequality by Elisa Reis
For policies to eliminate mass poverty to be effective, the national elites who control governments and economies in developing countries need to be convinced that poverty reduction is in their own and the national interest, and that public action can make a difference. Drawing on case studies from a range of developing countries, the contributors discover major differences in how national elites understand and represent poverty. The classic threats that induced elites in late 19th century Europe to be concerned about poverty - the fear of crime, epidemics, military weakness or political unrest - do not feature prominently in the consciousness of most developing country elites. Nor do most of them believe that there is a viable solution to poverty through public action. The findings help to explain the relative ineffectiveness of poverty reduction strategies so far, and illustrate the need to present poverty in ways that tie in with how national elites understand their world.
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Author Biography - Elisa Reis
Elisa P. Reis is professor of political sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Mick Moore is a political scientist currently with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. His most recent book, co-edited with Peter Houtzager, is Changing Paths: International Development and the New Politics of Inclusion (Michigan University Press, 2003).