Poverty

Authored by: Peter Saunders

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315207049-7

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Abstract

Poverty is an issue that has attracted the attention of leading academic scholars, and its associated miseries have inspired some of the greatest works of fiction. Whether it be Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables in nineteenth-century France, Dickens’ characters living in the squalid slums of Victorian London, or those excluded from today’s advanced democratic societies or struggling to survive famine in sub-Saharan Africa, throughout history poverty has motivated leading thinkers to search for understanding and has been a rallying call for action. It has attracted the attention of the world’s leading social scientists, inspiring the conflicting theories of Adam Smith and Karl Marx, the policies developed by welfare state pioneers Bismark and Beveridge and the conceptual and measurement skills of generations of researchers, from Booth and Rowntree to Townsend, Sen and Atkinson.

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