Understanding Global Poverty : Causes, Solutions, and Capabilities book cover
2nd Edition

Understanding Global Poverty
Causes, Solutions, and Capabilities

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after August 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367489830
August 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
376 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Understanding Global Poverty introduces students to the study and analysis of poverty, helping them to understand why it is pervasive across human societies, and how it can be reduced through proven policy solutions.

The book uses the capabilities and human development approach to foreground the human aspects of poverty, keeping the voices, experiences and needs of the world’s poor central to the analysis. Starting with definitions and measurement, the book goes on to explore the causes of poverty and how poverty reduction programs and policy have responded in practice. The book also reflects on the ethics of why we should work to reduce poverty and what actions readers themselves can take. This new edition has been revised and updated throughout, featuring:

• a new chapter on migration and refugees

• additional international examples, including material on Mexico, Covid-19 in global perspective, and South-South development initiatives

• information on careers in international development;

• insights into how various forms of social difference, including race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality relate to poverty.

Fully interdisciplinary in approach, the book is also supplemented with case studies, discussion questions and further reading suggestions in order to support learning. Perfect as an introductory textbook for students across sociology, global development, political science, anthropology, public health and economics, Understanding Global Poverty will also be a valuable resource to policy makers and development practitioners.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Building a Framework for Understanding Poverty

Chapter 2: Development and its Debates

Chapter 3: Multidimensional Measurements of Poverty and Wellbeing

Chapter 4: Health and Poverty

Chapter 5: Geographical and Spatial Poverty

Chapter 6: Race, Class, Gender, and Poverty

Chapter 7: State Institutions, Governance, and Poverty

Chapter 8: Conflict and Poverty

Chapter 9: Migration and Poverty Reduction

Chapter 10: Education as Poverty Reduction

Chapter 11: The Environment and Poverty Reduction

Chapter 12: Financial Services for the Poor

Conclusion: Ethics and Action: What Should You Do About Global Poverty?

Appendix: Careers in International Development


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Serena Cosgrove is an Associate Professor in International Studies at Seattle University, USA.

Benjamin Curtis is a Director and Principal Consultant at Development Insights Partners, Czech Republic.


"This exceptional cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural work on one of the most pressing issues of humanity must be read not only by scholars and university students but also by policy makers. The authors show vividly and compassionately how poverty is a human problem and how it is related to capabilities. This book hands a mirror to its readers." 

Gül İnanç, Co-Director, Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies, University of Auckland

"Understanding Global Poverty is an excellent resource that lives up to its name in offering readers a rich understanding of poverty as more than low income. The authors use clear language and compelling case studies as they untangle complex issues of global poverty in a manner that is sure to engage students." 

Lori Keleher, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, New Mexico State University; President of the International Development Ethics Association

"This smartly revised second edition of Understanding Global Poverty is an exemplary go-to resource. Each chapter’s clearly articulated learning goals and discussion questions are ideal for the student-centered classroom. While unapologetically grounded in ethical approaches to development, the authors nevertheless consider both the strengths and weaknesses of each using empirical evidence and vignettes to illustrate core concepts and debates. Its multi-disciplinarity will attract a wide variety of students eager to understand the challenges of global poverty and engage in solutions to meet them."

Daniel J. Whelan, Bill and Connie Bowen Odyssey Professor of Politics, Hendrix College, USA