The twenty-first century is characterized by extremes of poverty and wealth, of scarcity and abundance. The vast inequalties of wealth distribution between the developed west and the impoverished developing world is a complex problem. This book recognises that Africa in particular has manifested this global disgrace and symbolizes the nature of poverty to the western world.
In order to truly emancipate the poverty stricken around the world we must necessarily understand the reasons for its existence. In a departure from traditional critical realist theory, Gruffydd-Jones argues the benefits of reassessing the relevance of objective inquiry and emphasizes its primacy over normative theory in the battle to truly understand the reasons for the African crisis. This approach brings us a book of real relevance for inequality in the modern world and gives us an important platform from which to move forwards in the fight against poverty.
Part 1: Poverty, Need and Objectivity in Social Inquiry 1. Poverty and Development in Africa: Twentieth-Century Orthodoxies 2. Critical Perspectives: From Global Structure to Local Agency 3. Objectivity, Need and the Dialectics of Emancipation 4. Marxism, Imperialism and Africa Part 2: Explaining Poverty: The Massive Presence of the Past and the Outside 5. The Presence of the Past: Slavery, Colonialism and Primitive Accumulation 6. The Presence of the Outside: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Production of Absence 7. Neo-Colonialism and the Reproduction of Poverty: Contemporary Dialectics of Accumulation and Dispossession. Conclusion
Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.
Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.
For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.
The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit www.centreforcriticalrealism.com.