Chapter

Poverty, social exclusion and social polarisation: the need to construct an international welfare state

Peter Townsend

in World poverty

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9781861343956
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304340 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861343956.003.0002
Poverty, social exclusion and social polarisation: the need to construct an international welfare state

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This chapter presents a general account of trends in development from the 1960s, when poverty was placed at the forefront of international concern. The continued emphasis on economic growth by the Bretton Woods institutions has attracted increasingly critical attention. The partial shift of attention to ‘social exclusion’ has widened the understanding of the causes of poverty but has not led to the mobilisation of effective action on the part of the international agencies or the most powerful states. It is the phenomenon of ‘social polarisation’ that is attracting too little interest, and yet is fuelling increasingly difficult and even dangerous, as well as contentious, social conditions.

Keywords: poverty; social exclusion; Bretton Woods institutions; powerful states; social polarisation

Chapter.  9424 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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