Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 47.5

Introduction: Power, Poverty and Inequality

Published on 18 November 2016

Ten years on from the landmark 2006 issue of the IDS Bulletin that brought us the ‘power cube’ – a practical approach to power analysis that offers a way of confronting its complexity – we return to the question of how to analyse and act on power in development.

We focus on the ways in which invisible power helps perpetuate injustice and widen inequalities. The contributions call for ways to denaturalise norms and structures of social, political and economic inequality, so that the universal aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals may have a chance of success.

This editorial presents contributors’ recommendations for how to reverse the negative effects of invisible power through unsettling the normal and making visible the unacceptable. We end by analysing the conditions under which these activities might be successful and find that change is accelerated when connected spaces at every political level are considered and economic, political and social cleavages are acted on in concert.

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IDS Bulletin 47.5


Image of Marjoke Oosterom

Marjoke Oosterom

Research Fellow

Image of Patta Scott-Villiers

Patta Scott-Villiers

Research Fellow

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 47, issue 5