From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States Can Change the World

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Overview

Seismic events have convulsed global markets since 2008, when this book was first published, and world news has been full of stories reflecting a profound sense of uncertainty about global futures. In response, this new edition of From Poverty to Power has been fully revised and now includes a new chapter with an in-depth analysis of the human impact of the global financial and food crises.

From Poverty to Power argues that a radical redistribution of power, opportunities, and ...

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Overview

Seismic events have convulsed global markets since 2008, when this book was first published, and world news has been full of stories reflecting a profound sense of uncertainty about global futures. In response, this new edition of From Poverty to Power has been fully revised and now includes a new chapter with an in-depth analysis of the human impact of the global financial and food crises.

From Poverty to Power argues that a radical redistribution of power, opportunities, and assets rather than traditional models of charitable or government aid is required to break the cycle of poverty and inequality. The forces driving this transformation are active citizens and effective states.

Why active citizens? Because people living in poverty must have a voice in deciding their own destiny and holding the state and the private sector to account. Why effective states? Because history shows that no country has prospered without a state structure than can actively manage the development process.

There is now an added urgency: climate change. We need to build a secure, fair, and sustainable world within the limits set by scarce resources and ecological realities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"From Poverty to Power has been fully revised and updated in this new second edition, and argues that a radical redistribution of power, opportunities and assets is required to make any real, meaningful dent in the cycles of poverty and inequality. It will take active citizens to drive this change, because those living in poverty need a voice in determining their own future and it also takes effective state structures to see this change move beyond the ideal process to full development and deployment. Climate change only adds a sense of urgency to matters, and all are considered in this wide-ranging, college-level analysis of the human impact of global financial and food crises, highly recommended for any social and political studies collection."

"In telling us what can be achieved by ordinary people through organised action, this book generates hope even as it enhances understanding of what is involved in the removal of poverty."

"A tour de force."

"The book is a must read for anyone who is concerned about ending poverty, reducing inequality and promoting environmental sustainability simultaneously in the world."

"Duncan Green combines academic expertise, a flair for storytelling and an activist’s sense of urgency in this essential guide to both what is wrong with the world and how to put it right."

"Duncan Green uses numerous case studies to demonstrate this book is not merely an academic textbook but a manual for real, practical and lasting social change."

"A unique blend of solid academic understanding, serious activist experience, and political acumen."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853397417
  • Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/28/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 490
  • Sales rank: 997,896
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Duncan Green has been Head of Research at Oxfam Great Britain since 2004. He is the author of several books on Latin America, including Faces of Latin America (third edition 2006) and Silent Revolution: The Rise and Crisis of Market Economics in Latin America (2003). He has been a Senior Policy Advisor on trade and development at the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and Policy Analyst on trade and globalization at CAFOD.

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Table of Contents

Foreword - Amartya Sen
Foreword to Second Edition - Duncan Green

Part 1: Introduction: The unequal world

Part 2: Power and Politics
The political roots of development • I believe therefore I am • I read therefore I a • I surf therefore I am • We organize therefore we are • I own therefore I am • I vote therefore I am • I steal therefore I am: Natural resources, corruption, and development • I rule therefore I am • From poverty to power

Case Studies: A revolution for Bolivia’s Chiquitano people • Winning women’s rights in Morocco

Part 3: Poverty and wealth: The role of markets in development
An economics for the 21st century • Living off the land • The changing world of work • Private sector, public interest • Going for growth • Sustainable markets

Case Studies: African success stories: Botswana and Mauritius • The fishing communities of Tikamgarh

Part 4: Human Security: Managing risk and vulnerability
Living with risk • Social protection • Finance and vulnerability • Hunger and famine • HIV, and AIDS, and other health risks • The risk of natural disaster • Climate change: Mitigation, adaptation, organisation • Living on the edge: Africa's pastoralists • Violence and conflict • Shocks and change

Case Studies: South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign • India’s campaign for a National Rural Employment Guarantee

Part 5: The International System
Who rules the world? • The international financial system • The international trading system • The international aid system • International Rules and Norms • The interantional system for humanitarian relief and peace • Climate change • Global governance in the 21st century

Case Studies: Landmines, an arms control success story • The 2005 Gleneagles agreements

Part 6: How History Happens: The Food and Financial Crises of 2008-11

Conclusion: A new deal for a new century

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cosying up to the state is not the way forward

    Duncan Green, who works for Oxfam International, recommends cooperation, active citizenship and organisation. He writes that the key to development is an active, national developmental state - "there are no shortcuts, and neither aid nor NGOs can take its place; the road to development lies through the state."

    Only the state can provide free access to primary health care, education, clean water and sanitation, the free public services that emancipate women. Countries need 'massive and long-term investment in public health services'.

    But the IMF still forces privatisation and liberalisation on countries wanting loans. Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Reduction Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, developing countries must implement Structural Adjustment Programmes for decades, to get the debt cancellation promised as the swift solution to their urgent problems.

    Africa has 24% of the world's disease burden, but only 3% of the world's health workers, too many of whom migrate to the West. Poorer countries give the West $500 million a year in health workers. Jamaica and Grenada train five doctors for every one that stays. Yet Green writes, "Increasing the quantity and quality of migration is one of the most effective ways to tackle global poverty and inequality." But increasing the supply of labour cuts its price - which increases poverty.

    He reminds us that profits taken from developing countries rose from $17 billion in 1990 to $169 billion in 2005. The banks profit from every debt crisis, while the crises have cost the developing countries a quarter of their output in the last 25 years. As NatWest boasts, "Currency and interest rate volatility provided significant trading opportunities."

    Green then says that powerful states and corporations must stop doing harm. Indeed, that would be nice. He admits, "the private sector on its own has never achieved growth with equity", but he says this is because we haven't understood markets properly.

    He notes that reform proposals are always blocked by 'powerful governments and financial interests', that "Powerful interests profit from the lack of regulation . global institutions are weak or are dominated by governments in thrall to those vested interests" and that 'local elites' violently oppose land reform.
    Then he writes, absurdly, "Sustainable growth means . acknowledging that the private sector and trade . are the ultimate drivers of the economy, and it means supporting them with policies, investment, and institutions." That will make them change their spots! He admits the flaws in development thinking, chiefly 'excessive reformism without politics or history' - which this book exemplifies.

    Green observes, "the misguided actions of global institutions and the short-sighted policies of wealthy countries often pose threats to development." But is the problem really a lack of knowledge and of vision, to be put right by Oxfam's wisdom? This is the academics' fallacy, that if only our rulers knew better, they would do better.

    Does Oxfam really think anyone can persuade the world's capitalist classes to act against their own interests? We need the world's working classes to act in their own interests, to get rid of this failed, destructive system.

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