After two decades of marketizing, an array of national and international actors have become concerned with growing global inequality, the failure to reduce the numbers of very poor people in the world, and a perceived global backlash against international economic institutions. This new concern with poverty reduction and the political participation of excluded groups has set the stage for a new politics of inclusion within nations and in the international arena. The essays in this volume explore what forms the new politics of inclusion can take in low- and middle-income countries. The contributors favor a polity-centered approach that focuses on the political capacities of social and state actors to negotiate large-scale collective solutions and that highlights various possible strategies to lift large numbers of people out of poverty and political subordination.
The contributors suggest there is little basis for the radical polycentrism that colors so much contemporary development thought. They focus on how the political capabilities of different societal and state actors develop over time and how their development is influenced by state action and a variety of institutional and other factors. The final chapter draws insightful conclusions about the political limitations and opportunities presented by current international discourse on poverty.