discourse or a commitment to change?
Chapter Two discusses theoretical debates on the definitions of poverty and issues related to anti-poverty policies. This chapter also questions the rationale of universalised understanding of poverty (which has been detailed as ‘dollarisation of poverty’) and its application into international development and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). This discussion reveals that the mantra of dominant anti-poverty policies is embedded in growth and other neo-liberal agendas. It asks whether such an endeavour is driven by a genuine and strong enough commitment to poverty alleviation or just pays lip service through the use of popular rhetoric. Poverty is neither universal nor just an econometric issue. Poverty entangles with various specific contexts given by any society’s cultural, political, historical, geographical and religious contexts. Hence, it is asked whether the discourse of poverty reduction will be constricted to promote neo-liberal economic agendas amid a false piety of increasing aid, or whether this will embrace a commitment to create change in the social structure to minimise inequality and poverty.
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