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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how political action by poor people can influence public policy. It begins with a critique of theories about poverty policy development for the poor as well as the political agency of the poor before discussing the dissensus politics arguments of Piven and Cloward. It then considers how globalization and the neoliberal assault on the welfare state are producing limited conditions of convergence between rich and poor countries with respect to policy, including countries in the West and in Latin America. It also offers suggestions aimed at addressing the neglect of poor people’s politics by focusing specifically on the American case, while also suggesting the relevance of that case to other societies. It asserts that the politics of the poor that stem from their interdependent power and their disruptive actions, as well as the policy consequences, can look different depending on the changing institutional and political context.

Keywords: political action, poor people, public policy, poverty policy, political agency, globalization, welfare state, poverty, Latin America, politics of the poor

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