IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decentring Poverty, Reworking Government: Social Movements and States in the Government of Poverty


  • A. J. Bebbington
  • D. Mitlin
  • J. Mogaladi
  • M. Scurrah
  • C. Bielich


The significance of social movements for pro-poor political and social change is widely acknowledged. Poverty reduction has assumed increasing significance within development debates, discourses and programmes - how do social movement leaders and activists respond? This paper explores this question through the mapping of social movement organisations in Peru and South Africa. We conclude that for movement activists 'poverty' is rarely a central concern. Instead, they represent their actions as challenging injustice, inequality and/or development models with which they disagree, and reject the simplifying and sectoral orientation of poverty reduction interventions. In today's engagement with the poverty-reducing state, their challenge is to secure resources and influence without becoming themselves subject to, or even the subjects of, the practices of government.

Suggested Citation

  • A. J. Bebbington & D. Mitlin & J. Mogaladi & M. Scurrah & C. Bielich, 2010. "Decentring Poverty, Reworking Government: Social Movements and States in the Government of Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 1304-1326.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:7:p:1304-1326
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.487094

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van der Berg, Servaas & Burger, Ronelle & Louw, Megan, 2007. "Post-Apartheid South Africa: Poverty and Distribution Trends in an Era of Globalization," WIDER Working Paper Series 057, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Scarlato, Margherita, 2012. "Social Enterprise, Capabilities and Development: Lessons from Ecuador," MPRA Paper 37618, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:7:p:1304-1326. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.