Poverty is still widespread in Latin America, in spite of over five decades of international development efforts to eradicate it. While some progress was made during the first decade of the new Millennium, at least until the onset of the global food and economic crises, there are still over one hundred and eighty million people in the region who unable to meet their basic needs. This is the `poverty problematic' that is at the centre of this book. It addresses what are perhaps the most important questions of our time: What are the root causes of poverty? And how can it overcome? Also, with regards to the recent progress in the so-called war against poverty, the editors ask: How real is this progress? What or whose actions are responsible for this achievement? Through a critical analysis of public policies and development pathways, Poverty and Development in Latin America provides nuanced responses to these questions. The major conclusion reached and shared by the editors is that poverty reduction cannot be sustained with an anti-poverty strategy based only on social inclusion and economic assistance, or humanitarian relief. It requires a substantive change in the structure of inequality, and a confrontation of the relations of production and power that sustain this structure.
Poverty and Development in Latin America