Poverty and Inequality in Middle Income Countries

Policy Achievements, Political Obstacles

Edited by Einar Braathen, Julian May, Marianne Ulriksen, and Gemma C. Wright


Re-assesses strategies for poverty reduction in light of recent dramatic changes in the nature of global poverty.

This collection offers a timely reassessment of viable ways of addressing poverty across the globe today. The profile of global poverty has changed dramatically over the past decade, and around three-quarters of the poor now live in middle income countries, making inequality a major issue. This requires us to fundamentally rethink anti-poverty strategies and policies, as many aspects of the established framework for poverty reduction are no longer effective. Featuring contributions from Latin America, Africa and Asia, this much-needed collection answers some of the key questions arising as development policy confronts the challenges of poverty and inequality on the global, national and local scale in both urban and rural contexts.

Providing poverty researchers and practitioners with valuable new tools to address new forms of poverty in the right way, Poverty and Inequality in Middle Income Countries shows how a radical switch from aid to redistribution-based social policies is needed to combat new forms of global poverty.

Author Bio

Einar Braathen is research professor in international studies at the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). He co-edited and co-authored The Politics of Slums in the Global South (2016).

Julian May is director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape. He formerly held the South African Research Chair in Applied Poverty Impact Assessment.

Marianne S. Ulriksen is senior research fellow at the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg. Her publications primarily focus on southern and eastern Africa, where she has lived and worked since 2000.

Gemma Wright is research director of the Southern African Social Policy Research Institute, and Southern African Social Policy Research Insights. She is professor extraordinarius at the University of South Africa and research associate at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University. 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Poverty and Politics in Middle Income Countries - Einar Braathen, Julian May, Marianne S. Ulriksen and Gemma Wright
  • 1. Policy-Relevant Measurement of Poverty in Low, Middle and High Income Countries - David Gordon and Shailen Nandy
  • 2. Poverty, Inequality, Racism and Human Rights in Mexico and Latin America - Camilo Pérez-Bustillo
  • 3. South Africa, the OECD and BRICS - Tor Halvorsen
  • 4. Universalizing Health Coverage in Emerging Economies - Amrit Kaur Virk
  • 5. The Politics of Inequality in Botswana and South Africa - Marianne S. Ulriksen
  • 6. Democratization, Disempowerment and Poverty in Nigeria - Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba
  • 7. Urban Poverty and Inequality in Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Durban - Einar Braathen, David Jordhus-Lier, Berit Aasen and Catherine Sutherland
  • 8. Adults Who Live on the Streets of Buenos Aires - Martín Boy
  • 9. Grassroots Politics and Social Movement Mobilizations for Development in Brazil - Abdulrazak Karriem
  • 10. Land-Alienation-Infused Poverty in India - Sony Pellissery
  • 11. The Politics of Hunger Deaths in Odisha (India) - Rajakishor Mahana


‘This timely and important collection of essays breaths fresh air into the debate about what it means to be poor in today's world, and what can be done to end poverty.’
Tony Addison, chief economist, United Nations University - World Institute for Development Economics Research

'A welcome addition to the literature on poverty. A must read for scholars, activists, and policymakers interested in the problem of poverty and poverty reduction.'
Jimi Adesina, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

‘A valuable contribution to our understanding of the causes of, and solutions to, poverty and inequality in the global South. It provides a comprehensive and critical analysis and is a timely addition to the literature on these issues.’
Rebecca Surender, University of Oxford

‘The excellent group of papers in this volume throw much needed light upon the politics of poverty reduction in middle-income countries. They deserve a wide readership.’
Armando Barrientos, University of Manchester


Publication Date: 15 April 2016
264 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783605576
Hardback: 9781783605583
eBook ePub: 9781783605606
eBook PDF: 9781783605590
eBook Kindle: 9781783605613

Appears in

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.