Chapter

Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor

Chipiliro Kalebe-Nyamongo

in The Role of Elites in Economic Development

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659036
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191749032 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.003.0009

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor

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There has been a growing recognition that politics matters in the distribution of resources in society. However, attempts to use a political economy ‘lens’ with which to explore causes of poverty and strategies for poverty alleviation have largely ignored elites. By failing to embrace the role elites play in the implementation of pro-poor policy, existing research has not produced a holistic understanding of the underlying factors which inhibit or promote action towards pro-poor policy. Historical accounts of the evolution of welfare states inform us that elites’ prioritization of poverty reduction is driven by the extent to which elites and the poor are interdependent, such that the presence of the poor has a positive or negative impact on elite welfare. This chapter argues that in formulating effective strategies for poverty reduction, the role of elites must be considered in addition to the adoption of democratic, economic, and social institutions.

Keywords: elites; politics of poverty; pro-poor policy; poverty reduction

Chapter.  13898 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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