n Law, Democracy & Development - Poverty as injustice

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



The title and thus broad framing of this article is "poverty as injustice". The implicit other side of the claim "poverty as injustice" is that justice would mean the absence of poverty. Our contention is that the understanding of poverty as a practical social in the first place rather than as a manifestation of injustice results in an approach to poverty that is focused solely on technical and managerial solutions to poverty. Such approaches to poverty are problematic because they lose sight of the political dimensions of poverty, that is, the fact that poverty is embedded in a particular ideology. A definition of "poverty" as inadequate to basic living resources, such as, food, water, housing and health care, surfaces the political dimensions of poverty. What determines access to these basic resources is economic and political power. Any response to poverty must therefore engage power. At the heart of any response to poverty must be the search for, and the ideal of, justice.

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