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What distinguishes Persistence of Poverty from most other poverty studies is the way in which it conceptualises the problem. This volume offers a variety of alternative analytical perspectives and fresh insights into poverty that are key to addressing the problem. In looking at the day to day lived realities of the poor the volume points out that in order to understand poverty one must take into account the wider system of class and power relations in which it is rooted. This volume suggests that ’democracy in India may be as big a part of the problem as it is of the solution.’
This book, edited by Jonathan Parry and Nandini Gooptu, is unique in several respects. What distinguishes it from the existing literature on persistence of poverty in India, despite high growth, is the multi-disciplinary and “bottom-up” approach in devising solutions to this problem. Fifteen essays, written by political analysts, anthropologists, sociologists, economists and others offer valuable insights on the realities of poverty at the ground level and unequal distribution of powers among different classes in the society. This book is an essential reading for academic researchers across different disciplines as well as political leaders and policy makers in India and abroad.
There is a vast literature on poverty in India, but much of it reflects an obsession with measurement. And for all the emphasis on poverty reduction in public policy, neither the ways in which poverty is reproduced through power relationships nor the practical politics of poverty alleviation have received the attention they deserve. This remarkable and innovative collection brings together a range of disciplinary perspectives to provide illuminating answers to these vitally important questions.